UK court clears ex-Barclays bankers of Libor rate rigging


A British jury on Thursday cleared two former Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) bankers of plotting to rig the key inter-bank Libor interest rate following a retrial.

London's Southwark Crown Court acquitted Stylianos Contogoulas, 44, and Ryan Michael Reich, 34, of conspiracy to defraud after they were accused of attempting to manipulate the global benchmark rate, which underpins the terms of $500 trillion of contracts from mortgages to the cost of corporate lending.

"For the last eight years, I have consistently explained that I acted appropriately, honestly, and in accordance with the rules at the time," Reich said.

"I am saddened that it has taken so long to expose the case against me, a junior trader just doing my job over a decade ago, as being totally without foundation. It is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the facts."

In the original trial last July, four former Barclays bankers were jailed for manipulating Libor, which is calculated daily using estimates from banks of their own interbank rates.

The scandal erupted in 2012 when Barclays was fined £290 million (340 million euros, $362 million) by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.

Other global banks have also been caught up in the rigging, while Euribor is the eurozone equivalent of Libor.

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