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Judge says greed was key motive

Ex-Barclays bankers jailed for rigging interest rates

Bank rates were rigged in the run-up to the crash


 

Two former bankers at Barclays have been jailed for their part in manipulating a global interest rate system at the years leading to the financial crisis.

Colin Bermingham, 62, a senior rate submitter, was sentenced to five years, and Carlo Palombo, a 40-year-old former derivatives trader, received a four-year term.

The pair were found guilty between 2005 and 2009 of conspiring to rig the Euro interbank offered rate (Euribor), which is related to trillions of dollars worth of loans and derivatives.

These rates underpin wider financial products including mortgage rates, savings rates and loans.

Judge Michael Gledhill, sitting at Southwark Crown Court in London, said he wanted to send a message to those in banking and finance, telling the convicted pair: “Those convicted of manipulating interest rates will face substantial custodial sentences.”

Palombo’s lawyer John Hartley said in a written response. “He and his family are of course devastated by the outcome and he will need some time to come to terms with this decision while we consider the issue of any appeal.”




A spokesman for Slater and Gordon, the law firm representing Bermingham, declined to comment on the sentence. Sisse Bohart, 41, a junior submitter, was acquitted of the same charge.

Palombo, whose wife is expecting their first child, had worked under Philippe Moryoussef, an experienced swaps trader who was convicted last year. He was jailed for eight years along with Christian Bittar of Deutsche Bank, who received a five years and four months sentence after pleading guilty.

While the judge expressed sympathy that Palombo was left to learn from such a “forceful personality” as Moryoussef, it couldn’t have been long before he [Palombo] realised the practice was illegal and dishonest, the judge said.

“Your motive was greed and your inhibitions were suppressed as you thought you would not be found out,” Mr Gledhill said.



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