Barclays’ former senior executives including Bob Diamond, John Varley, Jerry del Missier, current chief financial officer Chris Lucas and current head of investment banking Rich Ricci are among 104 of the bank’s employees who attempted to keep their names private in High Court litigation involving the first British damages claim over the alleged manipulation of Libor.
Their names were disclosed by the bank to regulators as part of the Libor probe and were released on Thursday in a High Court hearing in London.
Among the 104 applicants is a “shortlist” of 24 names of individuals referred to in the regulatory settlements over Libor who are not necessarily implicated in any wrongdoing.
The communications by Barclays staff are among the millions of documents that have been scrutinised by authorities, which includes the UK’s Financial Services Authority, as part of a sprawling worldwide probe into whether the benchmark rate, which determines the price of at least $350tn contracts worldwide, was manipulated.
Their names can be revealed for the first time following a decision by Mr Justice Flaux on Monday, which ruled that they should be named publicly in court, in accordance with the principle for open justice. Their application for anonymity was challenged successfully by media organisations including the Financial Times.
The judge said there was a shortlist of 24 and “it does not follow that they are people implicated in any wrongdoing – some are and some aren’t”.
The judge made clear that some of the individuals had been interviewed by the bank and had disciplinary proceeding taken against them. Some were exonerated; others received warnings; others received more serious sanctions. He said, however, it was not clear from documents and representations presented to the court which were which.
Two New York-based employees who were ousted last year – Ronti Pal, head of the US interest rates trading and a managing director, and Don Lee, a derivatives trader who reported to Mr Pal – were also among the names released.
The underlying case revolves around a care home, which is suing Barclays over alleged mis-selling of interest-rate swaps. Guardian Care Homes, one of a number of claimants, alleges that not only were the swaps mis-sold, but they were also pegged to a rate that was being rigged by the bank. Barclays denies all the allegations.
The names are contained in documents the bank has had to release to the claimants as part of the litigation disclosure procedure.
The dispute, which comes to trial later this year, is being closely watched as a test case by other banks embroiled in the Libor scandal, which saw Barclays pay a $450m penalty in June and led to the ousting of Mr Diamond, the bank’s chief executive.
Since then UBS paid $1.6bn in December to US, UK and Swiss authorities to settle claims that it manipulated Libor. The Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to be the next bank to settle.