Tuesday 27 October 2015

Bank rows - part 3

Regular readers of this blog know that I like to hang around some of London's courts as it's a great place to pick up tales about dusts ups that involve City characters, institutions and dealmakers.

And one court that has proved to be a particularly fertile environment for City hacks is Southwark Crown Court. In fact, there has rarely been a day over the last couple of months that the allegations being heard at Southwark haven't featured in British national newspapers.

However, there was an interesting nugget that slipped under the radar at a recent pre-trial hearing for the six former Barclays traders accused of manipulating Libor.

Now, to be honest, I wasn't at that hearing but my court mole informs me that lawyers for the Barclays traders made an application for the identities of certain Barclays "executives" involved in Libor manipulation to be disclosed.

In case you are wondering who these "executives" at Barclays are, they were referred to in regulatory documents published when Barclays paid its £280 million fine over Libor fixing back in 2012. For example, in the documents, the executives were referred to only as "senior manager", "manager A" and "trader B" etc etc.

So, it will be interesting to see whether the application to out the "executives" is successful as, I'm told, some of the businesses suing the banks in civil courts over Libor manipulation are watching the application with interest. That's because some of the key arguments in these civil cases are normally around who knew what about Libor fixing at the banks.

Indeed, imagine how handy it will be for the likes of property company Rhino Enterprises - which is suing Barclays for £50 million over a range of allegations such as Libor fixing and mis-selling of interest rate swaps - to have the identities of the "executives" referred to in the regulatory documents put into the public domain!

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