The Serious Fraud Office has charged two brokers with conspiracy to defraud as part of its ongoing investigation into the rigging of Libor.
The two men, who formerly worked for inter-dealer broker RP Martin, were arrested in December along with Tom Hayes, who last month was charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud.
Terry Farr, 41, and James Gilmour, 48, attended Bishopsgate police station in London on Monday and were charged by City of London police with conspiracy to defraud. They will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court at a later date.
Gilmour was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud; Farr with two, the SFO said.
Katie Wheatley, partner and joint head of the criminal law team at Bindmans, said: "Mr Farr will place his trust in the court to determine a just outcome but it is regrettable that of all the very many organisations and individuals who may have contributed to the failings of Libor-setting the SFO has chosen to charge Mr Farr, an unqualified inter-bank broker who had no responsibility whatsoever for setting Libor rates – a minnow in a very large pond – for doing what he believed to be his job."
A lawyer for Gilmour said it was not appropriate to comment at this time.
The SFO's investigation into rigging Libor interest rates was sparked by the £290m fine paid by Barclays to US and UK regulators last year. The inquiry is continuing while UK regulators are investigating four more financial firms, having followed up the Barclays fine with penalties for Royal Bank of Scotland, which paid £390m in the US and UK, and UBS, which paid $1.5bn (£995m) in the UK, US and Switzerland.
When the UBS fine was announced in December, Hayes, a British citizen, was immediately charged by the US authorities with conspiracy, wire fraud and an anti-trust violation.
The SFO did not provide details of the time period when the alleged conspiracy by the RP Martin brokers would have taken place.
The charges against Hayes, who worked for UBS and Citigroup in Japan, cover the years between August 2006 and September 2010 and include allegations about a web of financial firms with which he is alleged to have conspired to fix Libor, including RBS, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Rabobank, RP Martin, HSBC and Tullett Prebon.
After the Libor scandal the UK government commissioned an inquiry into cleaning up the setting of the key benchmark rate, which is used to fix $300tn of contracts worldwide, and last week handed control of the setting process to a London-based body controlled by the New York Stock Exchange. This sparked controversy about ceding control to a New York organisation of what is formally known as the London interbank offered rate.
Hayes has not entered a formal plea during his recent court appearances. RP Martin declined to comment.
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