Former Barclays Euribor trader describes losing "a lot of money" in first trade

Alexandra Rogers
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Sisse Bohart joined Barclays' IT desk in 2002 (Source: Getty)

A former Barclays trader who stands accused of rigging the European Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor) for commercial gain told a London court she feared losing her job when she lost "a lot of money" on her first trade.

Danish national Sisse Bohart, 40, told Southwark crown court that despite being given a target of raising £750,000 - up from an initial aim of £500,000 - she in fact lost €25,0000, prompting her manager, Colin Bermingham, to respond by nearly clapping his hands.

Describing how she feared being fired from her role as assistant trader on the money desk, Bohart said: "I wouldn't say he was clapping his hands but he was close to. He said it could not have been a better trade for me to do as my first trade because I would remember it for the rest of my life and I would learn a lot from it."​

Bohart, who joined Barclays on its IT desk in 2002, described her lack of knowledge on taking up the job of a trader. She said she had "practically no knowledge of the market" and barely knew what the investment bank did.

Bohart and Bermingham are two of five traders who stand accused of fraudulently rigging the Euribor rate by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The investigation into the rigging of Euribor came amid an intense focus on misconduct around the setting of interest rate benchmarks which are used daily in contracts representing trillions of pounds of deals.

Former Barclays employees Carlo Palombo and Philippe Moryoussef, who is being tried in absentia, and Deutsche Bank employee Achim Kraemer have all been charged with the crime and face a possible 10-year prison sentence for their alleged roles in the fixing scandal.

Bohart said that contrary to the SFO's claim, she never acted dishonestly or intended to defraud anyone.

The SFO announced it was pursuing the traders in November 2015 following a similar investigation into manipulations of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor).

The trial continues.