Ex-Barclays bankers' Libor fixing trial due to begin


The trial of five former Barclays bankers charged with conspiracy to defraud in connection with the alleged fixing of Libor will start today. 

Jonathan James Mathew, 35, Stylianos Contogoulas, 44, Jay Vijay Merchant, 45, Alex Pabon, 37, and Ryan Reich, 34, are accused of manipulating the US Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate between June 1 2005 and August 31 2007.

The charge states that they dishonestly agreed to procure or make submissions of rates by Barclays, a panel bank, into the Dollar Libor setting process which were false or misleading.

It alleges that the traders intended to create an advantage to the trading positions of employees of Barclays, and deliberately disregarded the proper basis for the submission of those rates.

The men allegedly intended to prejudice the economic interests of others.

Mathew, from Shenfield in Essex, Contogoulas, from Greece, and Merchant, Pabon, and Reich, all of whom live in America, deny one count of conspiracy to defraud. 

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into the alleged fixing of Libor began in 2012.

British and US regulators fined Barclays £290 million over the scandal in 2012.

The rate is used to set millions of pounds-worth of financial deals, including car loans and mortgages. It is also used in complex overseas financial transactions.

The trial at Southwark Crown Court is expected to last 13 weeks.