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Barclays Sued by Investor Over Alleged Euribor Actions

Barclays Under Pressure to Find an External CEO Successor
A Barclays Plc bank branch in London. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Barclays Plc was sued by an investor who claimed her futures-trading business was harmed by the bank’s admitted manipulation of the Euro Interbank Offered Rate.

A copy of the complaint, which also names JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. among other defendants, was provided by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the law firm representing the investor. The filing couldn’t be independently confirmed yesterday on the website of the federal court in Manhattan.

As part of settlements with U.S. and U.K. regulators, Barclays has admitted rigging the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, as well as the Euribor, its equivalent in euros, as early as 2005. In testimony to the U.K. Parliament this week, Robert Diamond, who resigned as the bank’s chief executive officer, apologized and said 14 Barclays traders were involved.

“Based on what we’ve seen so far, the rate-fixing scheme was apparently an open secret within Barclays, leaving a broad trail of evidence of the banks’ complicity,” Steve Berman, a lawyer for the investor, said yesterday in a statement.

The investor, Karen Kalaway, was the principal of Riff-Raff Trading Inc. in the Chicago suburb of Inverness, Illinois.

Her lawsuit seeks to represent all U.S.-based investors who bought or sold Euribor-related financial instruments from Jan. 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2009.

Representatives of London-based Barclays, JPMorgan and Citigroup, didn’t immediately return calls after regular business hours yesterday seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Kalaway v. Barclays Plc, 12-05280, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan.)

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