Thursday, 14 January 2016

Banker Justice

A lot of people have been dismayed at the lack of reform by bankers after the 2008 global financial crisis. Next year that might change.

Six defendants accused of conspiring to manipulate a key interest-rate benchmark while working at Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc will stand trial in September 2017 in a London court.

Former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar and one-time colleague Achim Kraemer, as well as ex-Barclays employees Philippe Moryoussef, Colin Bermingham, Carlo Palombo and Sisse Bohart appeared in court in front of Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith. All six are scheduled to enter pleas.

The group is among 11 traders accused of conspiring among themselves and with other bank employees between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2009, to "procure or make submissions" in relation to the euro interbank offered rate that were false, according to court documents. They are the first to face charges globally in relation to Euribor, the euro counterpart of the London interbank offered rate. A number of former traders are facing prosecution for allegedly rigging Libor.

The other five defendants in the Euribor case worked at Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale SA and live in Germany and France. They didn’t appear at the first court hearing Monday to face the charges from the U.K. Serious Fraud Office. Loraine-Smith said the SFO must inform the court how it would proceed with those five at a hearing.

Iceland, which suffered a deep recession after the 2008 crash, set up a prosecuting team to investigate 21 alleged reports of illegal banking practice. This resulted in the chiefs of Iceland’s three biggest banks – Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki – being convicted. Maybe next years trials will be the start.

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