LONDON Jan 31 Barclays has been told
to hand over thousands more emails and other documents from its
former bosses in a UK court case tied to the alleged
manipulation of Libor interest rates, which will start in April.
In a case being heard at London's High Court, Barclays is
accused by a UK residential care home operator of mis-selling
products that were based on Libor rates. The hearing will start
on April 29 or 30 and is expected to last for about six weeks.
It is seen as a test case for whether the manipulation of
Libor - which several banks around the world have admitted and
been fined for - means deals such as interest rate hedges that
were based on benchmark rates may have been mis-sold.
In a hearing on Friday to resolve issues before the case
starts, judge Julian Flaux said Barclays must produce documents
from several executives and traders related to a fund the bank
ran. That includes emails and other correspondence from former
Chief Executive Bob Diamond and investment bank bosses Rich
Ricci and Jerry del Missier.
"I'm not going to give them the key to the door, but I
certainly think more (disclosure) is in order," Flaux said.
The order could add up to 38,000 more documents to the
220,000 already produced for the case.
Diamond, Ricci and del Missier are among 23 people who are
being called as witnesses for the trial. Former Finance Director
Chris Lucas will also be called.
Diamond and del Missier left Barclays in 2012 shortly after
Barclays agreed to pay a $450 million settlement with U.S. and
UK authorities due to alleged Libor manipulation. Ricci and
Lucas left last year.
Guardian Care Homes claims the bank's rigging of Libor meant
interest rate hedging products it was sold were invalid and is
suing for 70 million pounds ($115.5 million). Barclays, which
says it is owed the same amount by Guardian, said the claims are
without merit and it will provide the information requested.
Guardian Care Homes said at the heart of its case is the
Ricardo Master Fund, which was run by Barclays. Guardian said
Ricardo had $4 billion invested in securities and relied on low
3-month sterling Libor rates as "its most profitable single
The care homes operator said Barclays was therefore a direct
beneficiary of the downward manipulation of Libor rates, while
at the same time the bank was selling it an interest rate
hedging product "on the basis that Barclays believed rates would
Flaux told Barclays' lawyers they must provide by March 21
documents where the Ricardo fund was mentioned by Diamond and
others. Documents from former Barclays trader Quan Lee, and Mark
Dearlove, who is still at the bank and previously was money
markets desk head, must be handed over first.
Flaux however refused Guardian's request to have more
documents about the alleged manipulation of Euribor benchmark
rates provided by Barclays.
"There's going to be enough to fight about in April without
bringing in Euribor," he said, referring to another benchmark.