A Barclays investment banker said his friendship with a former employee on trial for conspiring to manipulate Libor doesn’t mean he had any knowledge of attempts by multiple traders under his supervision to rig the benchmark rate.
Bloomberg News reports that investment bank chief operating officer Mike Bagguley met up with Jay Merchant three to four times a month between 2001 and 2003, attended the trader’s house-warming party when he moved to New York in 2009, and invited Merchant as one of two bank employees at his wedding in November 2011, Hugh Davies, Merchant’s lawyer, said Wednesday while questioning Bagguley, who isn’t on trial.
Merchant was just a "work acquaintance,” Bagguley said, and he was unaware that the trader was asking Barclay’s Libor submitter Peter Johnson to change his submissions.
“He’s a friend of yours Mr. Bagguley, and you’re having to distance your friendship to cover up fact that what he’s accused of here you knew about," Davies said.
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