Ten former employees at Deutsche Bank and Barclays are to be charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in relation to allegations they plotted to fix benchmark euro interest rates.
Christian Bittar, once a top Deutsche Bank derivatives trader, was one of six from the German bank to be charged with conspiracy to defraud. Four ex-Barclays bankers were charged at the same time, including Colin Bermingham, the former global head of non-sterling liquidity.
The 9 men and one woman have been summoned to appear at Westminster magistrates court on 16 January, where the case is expected to be referred on to the crown court.
The SFO said proceedings had been issued on Friday, which would result in charges being formally laid against the defendants. It added that “criminal proceedings will be issued against other individuals in due course”.
The charges are the first relating to Euribor, an interest rate similar to Libor used to price euro loans and credit. The SFO and other agencies have already pursued investigations in relation to alleged yen and dollar Libor rate fixing.
Six former Barclays bankers were charged in relation to dollar Libor rigging and were expected to face trial in January. In August, the former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes was convicted in relation to yen Libor rigging and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Six brokers are on trial, also in relation to alleged yen Libor fixing.
Barclays was fined £290m by US and UK regulators three years ago for a “serious, widespread” role in trying to manipulate Libor rates. There was no admission of criminal liability, but the scandal ultimately led to the departure of the chief executive, Bob Diamond.
Barclays was the first of several banks to reach a regulatory settlement of Libor allegations. Others include Deutsche Bank, which was fined £227m by the Financial Conduct Authority in April for Libor misconduct.
Alongside Bermingham, the other former Barclays employees to be charged are Carlo Palombo, Philippe Moryoussef and Sisse Bohart.
Appearing in the dock with Bittar will be Achim Kraemer, Andreas Hauschild, Jörg Vogt, Ardalan Gharagozlou and Kai-Uwe Kappauf, formerly of Deutsche Bank.
All but one of those to be charged are thought to live outside the UK, but the SFO expects they will all appear in court voluntarily in January, without the need for extradition requests.
This article was written by Simon Bowers, for theguardian.com on Friday 13th November 2015 16.13 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010