Ex-brokers on rate 'fraud' charges

City of LondonTwo former brokers have been charged with conspiracy to defraud in connection with the rigging of the interbank lending rate Libor.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said Terry John Farr, 41, and James Andrew Gilmour, 48, former brokers at RP Martin Holdings, were charged by City of London Police with counts of conspiracy to defraud.

The men were arrested in December after the SFO opened its investigation into Libor manipulation in July in the wake of Barclays' £290 million fine by US and UK regulators for rigging the key lending rate which affects mortgages and loans.

The men, both from Essex, attended Bishopsgate police station in central London this morning and will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court at a later date.
Gilmour was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud, and Farr was charged with two counts of the same offence.

Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, from Surrey, was last month charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the SFO's probe into Libor-rigging.

All three men were arrested in December, when the SFO and City of London Police searched three homes. The SFO said its investigation into the manipulation of Libor continues.

Libor or the London Interbank Offered Rate is the umbrella term for benchmark rates that underpin the terms of 500 trillion US dollars (£320 trillion) of contracts from mortgages to the cost of corporate lending.

It was recently announced that the owner of the New York Stock Exchange is to take control of the interbank lending rate. NYSE Euronext will take over management of Libor from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) early next year after a transition period.

That followed a review which recommended the BBA should be stripped of its responsibility for setting Libor after widespread rate-rigging was found to have taken place among banks at the height of the financial crisis.