Former Barclays duo sentenced in rate-rigging case

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Two former Barclays bankers have been sentenced to a total of nine years in jail for their roles in manipulating Euribor interest rates at the height of the financial crisis.

Carlo Palombo and Colin Bermingham were last week found guilty of conspiring with former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar and former Barclays director Philippe Moryoussef to submit false or misleading Euribor submissions.

This was done to “change the published rate and benefit their positions”, according to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which brought the prosecutions.

Bittar earned more than £57 million in salary and bonuses from Deutsche Bank between 2005 and 2009.

Palombo earned £5.4 million and Bermingham earned £3.5 million in the same period.

On Monday, Palombo – an ex-vice president of euro rates – was sentenced to four years and Bermingham – an ex-managing director at the banking giant – to five years at Southwark Crown Court.

Both will face a further hearing to determine costs and proceeds of crime action.

Lisa Osofsky, director of the SFO, said: “These men deliberately undermined the integrity of the financial system to line their pockets and advance the interests of their employers.

“We are committed to tracking down and bringing to justice those who defraud others and abuse the system.”

Euribor is a key euro financial benchmark rate used to set financial deals and underpins financial products including mortgage rates, savings rates and loans.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Palombo’s lawyer John Hartley, from Hodge Jones & Allen, said: “Mr Palombo gave evidence during the trial of his time as a trader at Barclays and of the culture at the time, a decade ago.

“He and his family are of course devastated by the outcome and he will need some time to come to terms with this decision whilst we consider the issue of any appeal.

“Mr Palombo started at Barclays as a junior trader and was taught by his management from an early stage about making requests of the submission desk.

“He gave evidence during the trial that this was an ordinary course of business at the bank and there was never an issue of any of his actions being dishonest at that time and that he had received no training on Euribor submissions.

“No senior members of management were on trial.”

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