Newspaper article International New York Times

Libor Case in Britain Gets Its First Guilty Plea

Newspaper article International New York Times

Libor Case in Britain Gets Its First Guilty Plea

Article excerpt

The defendant is the first person in Britain to admit guilt in a criminal case tied to the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate.

CORRECTION APPENDED

A former senior banker at a leading British bank became the first person in Britain to plead guilty to a criminal charge in a continuing inquiry into the manipulation of the global benchmark interest rate known as Libor.

As is common in high-profile criminal cases in Britain, a judge of the High Court of Justice prohibited the media from publishing the defendant's name, the former employer or other details of the plea so as to avoid prejudice in the cases of others who are facing criminal charges. Those details will be made public at trial.

The former banker pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a single count of conspiracy to defraud involving manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor.

"A senior banker from a leading British bank pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court on 3 October 2014 to conspiracy to defraud in connection with manipulating Libor," the court said in a statement. "This arises out of the Serious Fraud Office investigations into Libor fixing."

Since it first emerged publicly in 2012, the Libor scandal has engulfed some of the world's largest banks and tarnished the reputations of many of Britain's leading lenders.

Libor is one of the main rates used to determine the borrowing costs for trillions of dollars in loans.

To set Libor and other rates, banks submit the rates at which they would be prepared to lend money to one another, on an unsecured basis, in various currencies and at varying maturities. Investigations in the last two years have found evidence that traders at various banks benefited from falsely reported rates.

The resulting scandal also has sparked a call for reform in how other benchmarks are set, such as the rates for currencies and precious metals.

Twelve former employees of banks and brokerages are facing criminal charges in Britain related to Libor. …

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