London (AFP) – The first trial for the rigging of the Euribor lending rate, which has forced major banks to pay out billions, got underway in London on Monday.
Five defendants will face trial over accusations they manipulated the Euribor, the rate at which European banks lend to each other.
The accused are a former Deutsche Bank employee, Achim Kraemer, and four former employees at Barclays: Colin Bermingham, Philippe Moryoussef, Carlo Palombo and Sisse Bohart.
An ex-Deutsche Bank trader, Christian Bittar, has already pleaded guilty and will not stand trial according to Britain’s Serious Fraud Office.
The Euribor scandal came out at the same time as that of rigging of the Libor, the Euribor’s equivalent in Britain, in 2012.
Several banks have had to pay hefty fines over Euribor-rigging in Britain and the United States, and the European Union has tightened legislation against market manipulation.
The trial is expected to last three months.
The Serious Fraud Office has also issued arrest warrants for five other financiers — four from Deutsche Bank and one from Societe Generale.