Criminal charges have been filed against three former Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) Bank employees, including two US citizens, for rigging interest rates.

Barclays Banks

After company paid fine, individual criminal charges filed by UK authorities

After Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) admitted wrongdoing and paid a $450 million fine to settle rate-rigging allegations with US and UK authorities, it was Britain’s Serious Fraud Office that criminally charged individuals Alex Pabon and Ryan Reich, two Americans, along with Jay Merchant, a UK resident. The lack of individual charges from the US Department of Justice for criminality involving the large banks has been a major issue in the US.

ValueWalk had previously reported European Union regulators reached a settlement on a penalty with six financial institutions for rate fixing on Wednesday. The companies were fined a total of $2.32 billion (1.71 billion euros) for colluding together to form a cartel to fix benchmark interest rates. Regulators levied penalties against several of the world’s biggest banks, including Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK), Societe Generale SA (EPA:GLE) (OTCMKTS:SCGLY), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM). This is in addition to billions in penalties leveled against financial institutions related to the Libor/Euribor scandal earlier this year.  The settlements announced by the European Commission are the initial results from a two-year investigation into conspiracies by major financial institutions to fix the benchmark Japanese Yen Libor and the European benchmark Euribor.

Today’s charges come on top of charges brought months ago

Today’s announcement comes two months after similar charges were brought against three former Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) employees, Peter Johnson, Jonathan Mathew and Stylianos Contogoulas, charged with market manipulation abuses, but there is no clear link between the previous charges and today’s charges, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Two primary allegations are at issues: traders manipulated interest rates to help their trading positions, and that banks submitted artificially low rates in the financial crisis to manipulate the rate and obfscate their problems, according to the report.