Former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar given green light to pursue civil case against FCA

Hayley Kirton
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Bittar (r) is facing a criminal trial in the UK on allegations related to manipulating Euribor (Source: Getty)

A former Deutsche Bank trader has been given the go ahead to continue with a civil case against the City watchdog.

Christian Bittar is suing over the manner he was depicted in a penalty notice issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which levied a fine on his former employers for its role in the rate rigging scandal.

The FCA had aimed to anonymise the report but a court has since decided that Bittar could be identified and, as a result, should have been given the opportunity to respond to the report before it was published.

However, Bittar is now also facing trial in the UK, as part of the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) investigation into Libor and, in the case of the former Deutsche Bank trader, Euribor manipulation.

The FCA and the SFO had wanted to delay the civil trial until after Bittar's criminal trial, which is due to begin in September 2017, with the SFO contending that the criminal proceedings will be prejudiced if the civil case goes ahead before the criminal one.

In deciding that Bittar could proceed with his civil case ahead of the criminal case, Judge Timothy Herrington remarked that putting the case off until after the criminal trial would mean that Bittar's entitlement to pursue his statutory rights against the City watchdog would be unnecessarily delayed.

Herrington added that the delay would become particularly unnecessary if the start of the Euribor trial was pushed back from its proposed September 2017 start date.

The decision to allow Bittar's civil case to go ahead was handed down on 2 June but was first reported on by Bloomberg today.

The FCA had not responded to City A.M.'s request to comment at time of writing.

No exact date for the civil hearing has been set, but Herrington remarked that there was a hearing window of July and November 2017.

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