The first U.K. trial over allegations of fraud related to manipulation of benchmark interest rates was delayed until next year to allow Barclays Plc (BARC) an opportunity to have an appeals court dismiss the case.
A six-week trial won’t take place until April 2014, after appeal judges have ruled, Judge Julian Flaux said at a London court hearing today.
Barclays, which is being sued by affiliates of Guardian Care Homes Ltd. over swap contracts linked to the London interbank offered rate, appealed a decision by Flaux allowing Libor fraud claims to be included in the case. That ruling was contradicted by another London judge who refused earlier this year to allow an Indian company to add Libor allegations to a similar suit against Deutsche Bank AG.
More than a dozen lenders are being investigated by regulators worldwide for rigging Libor and related rates. Barclays was fined 290 million pounds ($450 million) last year and censured by regulators who found evidence it had tried to fix the benchmark.
Barclays has obtained permission from the court of appeal to challenge Flaux’s ruling on the Libor claims, the bank said in an e-mailed statement.
The postponement “allows for Barclays’ appeal to be heard and enables Guardian Care Homes to consider the large volume of documents Barclays has disclosed,” Guardian spokesman Toby Pellew said in an e-mail.
The Barclays appeal will be heard alongside the similar case brought by an Indian real estate developer against Deutsche Bank, Pellew said. Unitech Ltd. (UT)’s bid to add Libor fraud to its swap claim against Deutsche Bank was rejected by Judge Jeremy Cooke in February.
“Clearly Mr. Justice Cooke, although he was being very polite, disagreed with my approach” in granting permission to include the Libor claims, Judge Flaux said today.
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