Libor probe investigators have contacted 22 people

 
Marion Dakers
THE SERIOUS Fraud Office is in touch with 22 people as part of the investigation into Libor-rigging, a court heard yesterday.

The watchdog wrote to the individuals last month, following Tom Hayes’ arrest last December.

The former UBS and Citigroup trader appeared at Southwark Crown Court yesterday alongside James Gilmour and Terry Farr, both former RP Martin staff.

The three men, the first to be charged over alleged attempts to fix the key interest rate Libor, had been due to enter pleas. However, most of the hearing was instead taken up by arguments from lawyers representing the unnamed alleged co-conspirators, after a temporary injunction was imposed in the wake of a Wall Street Journal article last week.

Justice Cooke decided not to extend the injunction yesterday, saying it had “no basis”. However, those named in early drafts of the indictments against Hayes and Farr are unlikely to appear in the final versions, which will be read out at a hearing later in the year.

The 22 people have had varying involvement in the Serious Fraud Office’s investigations so far. Some have not even been interviewed, while others are braced for criminal charges in the United States as early as this week, a lawyer for one said.

No decisions have been made on whether to charge any of the 22 in England.

Hayes, who hired a new legal team recently, was charged in July with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud, relating to his time at both Citi and UBS between 2006 and 2010.

Gilmour is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud, while Farr is facing two counts. All three are due to appear in court again in December.

Several banks have paid sums totalling billions of pounds to settle allegations around the attempted manipulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor).