THE BRITISH authorities have claimed victory in the first of at least 12 prosecutions against bankers and financiers accused of trying to manipulate the key inter-bank interest rate benchmark, Libor.
One banker pleaded guilty on Friday, but cannot yet be named for legal reasons. The High Court believes that revealing the identity of the banker could affect other cases currently under way.
Another 11 cases are ongoing, after the Serious Fraud Office brought charges against former staff from institutions, including Barclays, UBS and brokerage ICAP.
A Briton had pleaded guilty previously, but in the US, where ex-Rabobank trader Paul Robson admitted before a New York court to one count of bank fraud and wire fraud.
Economic secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom said the guilty plea represented a key step forward in holding individuals in finance accountable for their actions.
“The integrity of the City matters to the economy of Britain. Ensuring that the key rates that underpin financial markets are robust, and that anyone who seeks to manipulate them is subject to the full force of the law is vital,” Leadsom said.
“That’s why the government is determined to ensure that markets are fair for the many who depend on them.”