Former Barclays trader Merchant has rate-rigging sentence reduced

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A former Barclays trader jailed for his part in the Libor-rigging scandal has had his sentence reduced on appeal.

Jay Merchant, who was convicted after a jury trial in London last year, will now serve a five-and-a-half year sentence rather than the six-and-a-half-year term originally imposed, the Court of Appeal ruled on Wednesday.

Merchant, 45, stood trial last year with others in the third jury trial to arise out of the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into Libor-rigging. Another former Barclays trader, Peter Johnson, pleaded guilty in 2014.

Brian Spiro, Merchant’s solicitor at BCL Burton Copeland, declined to comment after Wednesday’s judgment.

Barclays was the first bank to settle with US and UK authorities over Libor-rigging, paying £290m in 2012. But the settlement resulted in high-level resignations of several top-level directors at Barclays, including the bank’s then chief executive, Bob Diamond.

Merchant’s reduction in sentence follows that of Tom Hayes, a former star trader at UBS and Citi who had his Libor-rigging sentence reduced from 14 to 11 years on appeal.

Hayes was the first person in the world to be convicted of Libor-rigging following a jury trial. He is appealing his conviction at the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which hears alleged miscarriages of justice. He is also challenging the City watchdog’s decision to ban him, according to the register of the Upper Tribunal, which hears challenges to determinations by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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