Five bankers gamed the financial system in a manner similar to Australian cricketers caught cheating in a recent Test match, a court has heard.
Four former employees of Barclays – Philippe Moryoussef, Colin Bermingham, Carlo Palombo and Sisse Bohart – and Deutsche Bank employee Achim Kraemer were charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in January 2016 with conspiracy to defraud over their role in rigging the rate between the start of 2005 and the end of 2009.
James Waddington QC, lead counsel for the SFO, opened the prosecution yesterday at Southwark Crown Court.
He told Judge Gledhill QC and members of the jury that the activities of the traders drew comparison with Australia’s disgraced cricket team.
“The Australian cricket team, which already possessed one of the best bowling attacks in the cricket world and didn’t need to, cheated in Cape Town by deceitfully applying sandpaper to the ball,” he said.
Waddington also told the court: “They [the bankers] were involved in effectively gaming the financial system to rip off a lot of people they did business with.”
Moryoussef is being tried in absentia after he failed to turn up to court yesterday. The jury was told that Moryoussef is currently living in France and has no intention of returning to the UK to take part in his trial. He has declined to be legally represented.
All five have pleaded not guilty.
The investigation into the rigging of Euribor came amid an intense focus on misconduct around the setting of interest rate benchmarks which are used daily in contracts representing trillions of pounds of deals.
The trial continues.