Senior Barclays' banker believes the bank's rules on Libor had flaws, court told in trial against two former traders

 
Hayley Kirton
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Barclays Bank Fined Over Libor Investigations
The court was also told there was no formal training for Libor (Source: Getty)

A senior Barclays' banker today in court conceded the rules the bank asked staff to follow on Libor had some flaws, as a trial against two of the bank's former traders rumbles on.

The Serious Fraud Office has claimed Stylianos Contogoulas, 45, and Ryan Reich, 35, played roles in a conspiracy to fix the benchmark rate between 1 June 2005 and 1 September 2007.

When quizzed in court today, Harry Harrison, who was described as once being Reich's "boss' boss' boss", confirmed the bank had no blanket prohibition on communications between its swaps desk and cash desk during the time period with which the case is concerned.

When Reich's lawyer asked if this had "created potential areas of conflict of interest, with hindsight", Harrison agreed.

The fraud squad has alleged Reich and Contogoulas were part of a conspiracy where the bank's traders routinely asked the bank's submitters to put in Libor submissions to better suit their trading positions.

When shown an email in which it appeared one of the bank's traders was being instructed to make a direct request for a Libor submission, Harrison said: "That would be inappropriate."

However, he later said: "There was no formal training about what you could and could not say."

Harrison also told the court "there was no formal training" offered by the bank on Libor in general, which he accepted, on reflection, there should have been.

The case, which is expected to run for around six weeks in total and is being heard in Southwark Crown Court, is ongoing.

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