Libor rate scandal: Trial of six brokers charged with rigging rates could go on for 14 weeks

Clara Guibourg
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London's financial sector was rocked by the rate-rigging scandal when it emerged (Source: Getty)

Brokers with nicknames like “Lord Libor” were “willing” and “enthusiastic” participants in the Libor manipulation scheme, prosecutors told the jury in the first day of a trial focusing on the brokers’ alleged role in the rate-rigging scandal.

Former ICAP employees Darrell Read and Colin Goodman are among the brokers that stand accused of helping jailed ex-trader Tom Hayes to manipulate the benchmark rate as the second trial in the Libor investigation commenced yesterday.

A total of six former brokers from ICAP, RP Martin and Tullett Prebon are standing trial, charged with conspiracy to defraud. All six have pleaded not guilty.

The second instalment of the Serious Fraud Office’s (SFO) war against financial misconduct in the City follows the conviction of Tom Hayes in August. The former trader at Citigroup and UBS was sentenced to 14 years in prison for moving the Libor rate.

The six defendants agreed to abuse a “critical financial process with which they had no interest” said SFO prosecutor Mukul Chawla in his opening remarks. "The motivation in each case was a simple one: financial."

Jurors heard that the six had nicknames like “big nose”, “Sarge” and “Lord Libor” and that evidence would be presented in the form of chats, phone calls and emails.

The trial, which is expected to last between 12 and 14 weeks, is being held at Southwark Crown Court in London.

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