Diamond, Del Missier Among Those Denied Libor Anonymity
Former Barclays Plc (BARC) Chief Executive Officer Bob Diamond and Jerry Del Missier, the former chief operating officer of the bank, were among those who failed to block publication of their names in connection to the U.K.’s first lawsuit tied to the rigging of Libor.
Rich Ricci, chief executive officer for corporate and investment banking, John Varley, another former CEO, Mark Dearlove, head of the bank’s money-market desk, and Chris Lucas, group finance director at the London-based lender, were also among the group of 104 who sought anonymity, according to court documents released today.
“The cat is out of the bag,” Judge Julian Flaux said in rejecting the employees’ bid for anonymity earlier this week. “It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to work out who they are.”
Barclays is being sued by affiliates of Guardian Care Homes Ltd. claiming an interest-rate swap should be annulled because it is linked to London interbank offered rate, which Barclays tried to manipulate. Guardian said it wouldn’t have signed the swap contract, which resulted in a loss for the Wolverhampton, England-based company, if it had known about the manipulation.
Flaux had ordered Barclays to give Guardian’s lawyers the identities and e-mails of bank staff who were included in disclosures to British and American regulators during a probe into interest-rate manipulation. Only 24 of the 104 people named were involved in setting Libor, Flaux said.
Barclays said in an e-mailed statement that just because some employees names appeared in “hundreds of thousands of pages of documents” after three-year investigation doesn’t mean they were involved in any wrongdoing.
More than a dozen banks worldwide are under investigation for Libor-rigging. Barclays was fined 290 million pounds ($459 million) in June when regulators found traders had tried to manipulate Libor and other interest rate benchmarks for profit.
That fine triggered the resignations of Diamond, Chairman Marcus Agius and Del Missier. Diamond was called to testify in front of British lawmakers at the House of Commons Treasury Committee in July. He was later criticized in a parliamentary report for giving “unforthcoming and highly selective evidence” about his knowledge of Libor manipulation.
Barclays will cover legal costs incurred by the employees from their attempt to block publication of their identities, Flaux said.
A spokesman for Diamond declined to comment.
Bloomberg News joined with other media organizations, including the Times in London, the Telegraph and the Financial Times in opposing the employees’ application for anonymity. The names weren’t immediately released after Flaux’s ruling.
Dan Doctoroff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bloomberg LP, has offered a measure dubbed the Bloomberg Interbank Offered Rate, or Blibor. It would use data from a variety of financial transactions in an effort to better reflect participating banks’ real cost of credit. Bloomberg LP is the parent of Bloomberg News.
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