Three former Barclays bankers charged over Libor fraud in Britain

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 February, 2014, 8:45pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, 3:54am

Three former employees of banking giant Barclays have been charged in connection with the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said in a statement on Monday.

The scandal over Libor, an interest rate at the heart of the global economy, has badly damaged the reputation of London’s financial centre and several big names in world banking.

The SFO said it had launched criminal proceedings “in connection with the manipulation of Libor”, while the three are alleged to have “conspired to defraud between 1 June 2005 and 31 August 2007”.

The charged were named as Peter Charles Johnson, Jonathan James Mathew and Stylianos Contogoulas in a brief statement issued by the SFO.

The trio will appear at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court at a date to be decided.

It brings to six the total number of people charged by the SFO over the Libor affair, which has rocked Barclays and other major banks.

The SFO in July charged Terry Farr and James Gilmour, former brokers at RP Martin Holdings Limited with conspiring to manipulate the Libor interbank lending rate. That came one month after it filed similar charges against former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes.

The Libor scandal erupted in 2012 when British bank Barclays was fined £290 million by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.

Royal Bank of Scotland and Swiss lender UBS have also received heavy fines over alleged rigging of Libor. Euribor is the euro zone equivalent.