Barclays PLC’s former senior executives including Bob Diamond, John Varley, Jerry del Missier and current chief financial officer Chris Lucas are among 104 of the bank’s current and former employees who attempted to keep their names private in High Court litigation involving the first British damages claim over the alleged manipulation of Libor.
Their names were disclosed by the bank to regulators as part of the Libor probe and the names were released on Thursday in a High Court hearing in London.
Among the 104 applicants is a “shortlist” of 24 names of individuals referred to in the regulatory settlements over Libor who are not necessarily implicated in any wrongdoing.
The communications by Barclays staff are among the millions of documents that have been scrutinised by authorities including the UK’s Financial Services Authority as part of a sprawling worldwide probe into whether the benchmark rate, which determines the price of at least $350-trillion (U.S.) contracts worldwide, was manipulated.
Their names can be revealed for the first time following a decision by Mr. Justice Flaux on Monday, which ruled that they should be named publicly in court, in accordance with the principle for open justice. Their application for anonymity was challenged successfully by media organisations including the Financial Times. The judge said that there is a shortlist of 24 and “it does not follow that they are people implicated in any wrongdoing – some are and some aren’t”.
The underlying case revolves around a care home, which is suing Barclays over alleged mis-selling of interest-rate swaps. Guardian Care Homes, one of a number of claimants, alleges that not only were the swaps mis-sold, but were also were pegged to a rate that was being rigged by the bank. Barclays denies all the allegations.
The names are contained in documents the bank has had to release to the claimants as part of the litigation disclosure procedure.
The dispute, which comes to trial later this year, is being closely watched as a test case by other banks embroiled in the Libor scandal, which saw Barclays pay a $450m penalty in June and led to the ousting of Mr Diamond, the bank’s CEO. Since then UBS paid $1.6bn in December to US, UK and Swiss authorities to settle claims that it manipulated Libor. The Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to be the next bank to settle.
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