World Economy

UK Charges Bankers Over Euribor Rigging

UK Charges Bankers Over Euribor RiggingUK Charges Bankers Over Euribor Rigging

British authorities have said they will charge 10 bankers with manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor). The instrument serves to define the fees for eurozone lenders borrowing funds from each other.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office said Friday it would levy charges against six bankers from Germany’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank, and four others from Britain’s Barclays, DW reported.

The 10 former or current traders were to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on January 11 when the charges would be formally announced.

It’ll be the first time that bankers will face criminal proceedings for alleged Euribor rate rigging as part of a wider, global investigation that has already seen big financial institutions around the world fined billions of dollars and 22 people charged.

 Prison Terms

Euribor, the eurozone equivalent of London’s Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), uses estimates of eurozone banks as a basis to define the day’s interbank lending rate, which is the fees banks have to pay, if they need to borrow money from fellow lenders.

Benchmark rates such as Libor and Euribor are considered central cogs in the global financial wheel in a system valued at $450 trillion of financial contracts ranging from derivatives to basic loans.

Several traders have already been charged with manipulating Libor. In August, former Citigroup and UBS trader Tom Hayes was convicted of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to 14 years in prison for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate for Japanese yen. The case marked the first time an individual was convicted of rigging the important benchmark, and came after several banks pleaded guilty to Libor manipulation. Six former traders are currently on trial in England on Libor-rigging charges. Five other ex-traders are scheduled to stand trial in January for allegedly manipulating Libor rates for the US dollar.

The following 10 people charged by the SFO on Friday:

* Christian Bittar (Deutsche Bank)

* Achim Kraemer (Deutsche Bank)

* Andreas Hauschild (Deutsche Bank)

* Joerg Vogt (Deutsche Bank)

* Ardalan Gharagozlou (Deutsche Bank)

* Kai-Uwe Kappauf (Deutsche Bank)

* Colin Bermingham (Barclays Bank)

* Carlo Palombo (Barclays Bank)

* Philippe Moryoussef (Barclays Bank)

* Sisse Bohart (Barclays Bank).