LONDON (Reuters) - The first UK court case linked to a complaint over the alleged rigging of Libor interest rates has been delayed until next year to allow Barclays the chance to hear if an appeals court dismisses part of the case.
Guardian Care Homes, a residential carehome operator based in Wolverhampton, England, is suing Barclays for up to 70 million pounds ($108.44 million) in a claim that it was mis-sold interest rate hedging products that were based on Libor.
The trial is seen as a test case for small British firms who believe they were mis-sold such swaps and raises the prospect of other companies linking future claims to interest rate rigging by banks.
Barclays has appealed a decision by Julian Flaux, the judge in the case at London’s High Court, which allowed Guardian Care Homes to include claims relating to Libor manipulation in its case against the bank.
Flaux said on Monday said the start of the trial should be delayed until April 2014 so that Barclays’ appeal can be heard.
The Guardian Care Homes case is the first to link a complaint over the alleged mis-selling of products to the investigation into attempts to manipulate Libor and other benchmark interest rates.
Barclays was the first bank to be fined for trying to game Libor, and the court case is shining a light on those involved in its interest rate-setting process.
Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by David Cowell and Louise Heavens