Ex-Barclays traders sentenced to years in prison for Libor-rigging

Former Barclays trader Jay Merchant arrives for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London, on July 7, 2016.
Former Barclays trader Jay Merchant arrives for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London, on July 7, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Four former Barclays bankers were sentenced to between 33 months and six-and-a-half years in jail by a London judge on Thursday for conspiring to fraudulently rig global benchmark interest rates.

Calcutta-born Jay Merchant, 45, the most senior of the men to face a jury in the case, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years. The New York-based former derivatives trader was convicted unanimously.

Merchant's junior, 38-year-old American Alex Pabon, was sentenced to two years and nine months and junior British Libor submitter Jonathan Mathew, 35, was handed a four-year sentence. Both men were convicted by majority verdict.

Mathew's former boss, 61-year-old Peter Johnson, a 35-year Barclays veteran, was sentenced to four years. The former senior dollar Libor submitter and head dollar cash trader pleaded guilty in October 2014 and did not stand trial.

Judge Anthony Leonard said the men would serve half their sentences in prison and then be released on licence. "What this case has shown is the absence of integrity that ought to characterise banking," said Leonard.

The sentences come four years after Barclays became the first of 11 powerful banks and brokerages to be slapped with a hefty fine for their role in the rate fixing scandal, sparking a political backlash that forced out former CEO Bob Diamond, an overhaul of Libor rules and the criminal inquiry.