British authorities have said they will charge 10 bankers with manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor). The instrument serves to define the fees for eurozone lenders borrowing funds from each other.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office said Friday it would levy charges against six bankers from Germany’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank, and four others from Britain’s Barclays.
The 10 former or current traders were to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on January 11 when the charges would be formally announced.
It’ll be the first time that bankers will face criminal proceedings for alleged Euribor rate rigging as part of a wider, global investigation that has already seen big financial institutions around the world fined billions of dollars and 22 people charged.
Euribor, the eurozone equivalent of London’s Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), uses estimates of eurozone banks as a basis to define the day’s interbank lending rate, that is the fees banks have to pay, if they need to borrow money from fellow lenders.
Benchmark rates such as Libor and Euribor are considered central cogs in the global financial wheel in a system valued at $450 trillion (419 trillion euros) of financial contracts ranging from derivatives to basic loans.
Several traders have already been charged with manipulating Libor. In August, Tom Hayes – a former UBS and Citigroup derivatives banker – became the first person to be convicted of rate rigging by a British jury. He got 14 years in jail.
hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP)