Judge sets October as showtime in UK Libor hearings

LONDON Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:08pm BST

Former UBS trader Tom Hayes leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London June 20, 2013. Hayes faced charges related to the manipulation of the Libor rate, local media reported. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Former UBS trader Tom Hayes leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London June 20, 2013. Hayes faced charges related to the manipulation of the Libor rate, local media reported.

Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall

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LONDON (Reuters) - The first three traders accused in Britain of conspiring to rig benchmark interest rates will be told the detailed charges against them at a court hearing in October.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Tuesday a list of "co-conspirators" with whom former trader Tom Hayes and two former brokers are alleged to have conspired to defraud would also be read out at the hearing, provisionally set for the week of October 21.

The SFO, keen to prove its crime-fighting credentials, has said it expects to charge further individuals over the rigging of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) in the third quarter.

The scandal surrounding Libor, used to price trillions of dollars worth of products ranging from derivatives to mortgages, has become a symbol for the finance industry's self-serving excesses.

Authorities across at least 10 countries and three continents are investigating the Libor case and similar benchmark rates, with around 20 major banks named either by authorities or in civil damages claims coming to court.

In a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Judge Anthony Leonard called on the SFO to file a formal indictment against former RP Martin brokers Terry Farr and James Gilmour by August 9, and serve a full case summary on all three men by September 30.

Former Citigroup and UBS trader Hayes last appeared in court on July 4 with prosecutors promising "voluminous" evidence against him.

In its charges against Hayes, Farr and Gilmour, the SFO has to date named a string of top banks and interdealer-brokers with whose employees the three allegedly conspired to defraud.

These include JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Rabobank, RBS, ICAP and Tullet Prebon, along with the defendants' former employers. It has yet to name any other individuals.

The three men, who are all British, remain on bail.

(Editing by Jane Merriman)

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