Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) lost a lawsuit filed by four traders fired as part of the lender’s probe of the rigging of interest-rate benchmarks.
Presiding Judge Annika Gey at the Frankfurt Labor Court today said the bank must give them their jobs back and pay their salaries. Three of the employees made submissions for Euribor and one for Swiss Franc Libor.
Regulators from Canada to Switzerland are investigating whether more than a dozen lenders, including Deutsche Bank, colluded to rig benchmark interest rates including the London and Euro-area interbank offered rates for profit or to mask their true cost of borrowing. Barclays Plc (BARC), UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc have paid a total of about $2.5 billion in fines after admitting wrongdoing.
“The bank didn’t have adequate internal rules and controls in place and didn’t see to it that rate submitting and derivative trading was adequately separated,” Gey said in the ruling.
Deutsche Bank has fired at least seven employees over suspected misconduct in connection with rates. The bank, continental Europe’s largest by assets, said in February that while it would fire or suspend workers that acted inappropriately, it wouldn’t identify individuals.
Another banker, who was the most junior of the group involved in today’s case, reached a settlement with the bank, two people familiar with the matter said in July.
Deutsche Bank justified the dismissal of the employees by saying they had inappropriate communication with a trader the bank fired at the end of 2011 for trying to rig rates, one of the people familiar with the matter said in July.
The traders were based in Frankfurt and included two managing directors, two directors and a vice president, two people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. Submitting euro interbank offered rates was part of their responsibilities, the people said.
A mediation hearing in April didn’t yield any results.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@Bloomberg.net.