Bob Diamond, former chief executive of Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS), may be called as witnesses in the court, along with other employees, after the attempts by the employees to keep their names off the trial failed.
Mr Justice Flaux rejected the applications for anonymity in the interest of open justice, the applications had, meanwhile, been criticized by the media.
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The high court judge, Mr Justice Flaux, said “The public has legitimate interest in learning who in the banking community is alleged to have been implicated in the manipulation of Libor,” the judge said, but stressed that some of the individuals involved were “not involved in the manipulation and are entirely innocent”.
The case relates to LIBOR manipulation, and Bob Diamond is the most high-profile of the 104 employees involved. Other popular names include Jerry del Missier (Bob Diamond’s one-time number two), current finance director, Chris Lucas, another ex-boss, John Varley, and current in-charge Barclays’ investment bank, Rich Ricci. All of them will be called as witnesses although they have not been implicated in any wrongdoing.
Of those 104 employees, 24 current and former Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS) employees are directly named in the regulatory settlements following the scandal. The bank paid about £290m in fines. Following the scandal, Barclays fired five of its employees after an internal investigation. Various other bankers identified have voluntary left the bank.
Barclays said: “This started as an alleged mis-selling case which the bank considers has no merit. The addition of a claim based on what happened with Libor does not change the bank’s view. The fact that someone’s documents were reviewed by the bank during its review of millions of documents does not mean that such person was involved in any wrongdoing.”
Other big financial firms are also being investigated, including the world’s largest interdealer money broker Icap, run by former conservative party treasurer, Michael Spencer.
In a statement, Icap said: “As previously disclosed, Icap has been asked to provide information to various agencies investigating the setting of Libor and is co-operating with those inquiries. As part of the FSA’s inquiries, one of Icap’s interdealer broker subsidiaries has been notified that it is the subject of an FSA investigation. The investigation is confidential, accordingly no further comment will be made at this stage.”
Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS) and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) have been fined so far with a verdict due on Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) (AMS:RBS). The Swiss bank was fined £940m in December, while the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to pay as much as £500m shortly.