Friday 2 October 2015

Bank rows

Are Britain's banks past the the worst of their fines and punishments following the financial crisis?

Well, it would appear so, according to Dutch information provider Wolters Kluwer.

Back in the real world, though, there are a whole spate of legal events related to British banks coming up over the next few weeks.

On Monday, for example, five inter-dealer brokers from Tullett Prebon, ICAP and RP Martin are up in front of the Beak on charges of Libor fixing. And on the same day John Argent, one of the traders sacked by Lloyds following its settlement for Libor rigging, is bringing an employment tribunal alleging unfair dismissal.

The following week the case of the six Barclays traders accused by the SFO of rigging Libor will have its first day in court with a case management conference.

From there we switch from Southwark to the Strand, from the Crown Court to the Royal Courts and a slew of Libor cases. Lawyers from Barclays, Lloyds and RBS are all going to be heading to the courts to defend allegations of Libor fixing. Storage company Rhino Enterprises is suing Barclays, property investment firm Wingate Associates is taking on Lloyds and Property Alliance Group will continue its case against RBS. Claims in all three cases are likely to attract a fair amount of attention.

Indeed, it's been reported elsewhere that the Rhino case should lift the lid on Barclays' Ricardo fund and allegations the bank directly profited from the fiddling of Libor.

Meanwhile, the Wingate Associates' case is being brought by Gary Hartland, the man who got the first settlement from a bank over Libor rigging. That time it was Barclays; this time it's Lloyds. I'm told this case is likely to be particularly sensitive for all the banks as Hartland is attempting to use Libor manipulation as a reason to rip up a previously agreed interest rate swap settlement. My court mole says readers should expect a lot cases to follow in his wake if Hartland is successful...


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