LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Three former brokers at ICAP , the world’s largest interdealer broker, appeared in a London court on Tuesday charged with running a four-year scheme to manipulate Libor benchmark rates.
The men, who spoke only to confirm personal details such as addresses, bring to nine the number of people facing criminal charges in Britain over allegations that they rigged the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), which is used to price about $450 trillion of products from complex derivatives to home loans.
The hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court is the latest in a global investigation that stretches from North America to Asia, shaking public faith in the financial industry. The scandal has so far led to fines of $6 billion imposed on 10 banks and ICAP.
Traders are alleged to have fixed Libor, which is based on a survey of what banks would charge each other for loans, by submitting answers that could nudge the reported rates by amounts that were tiny but translated into big profits.
Former ICAP derivatives broker Darrell Paul Read, 49, his supervisor Daniel Martin Wilkinson, 47, and 52-year-old Colin John Goodman, a cash broker, are all charged of conspiracy to defraud between August 2006 and September 2010.
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which brought the charges last month, alleges that the men dishonestly agreed to procure or make submissions of yen Libor rates that were false or misleading.
The men, who have already been charged by U.S. prosecutors, did not indicate any plea and have been granted conditional bail. They will next appear at the higher Southwark Crown Court on April 30.
The SFO has already charged six other men as part of its Libor investigation, including Tom Hayes, a former yen derivatives trader at UBS and Citigroup, who pleaded not guilty in a London court in December. A trial has been scheduled for January 2015.
Two former RP Martin brokers, Terry Farr and James Gilmour, have also been charged and pleaded not guilty to similar fraud-related offences. Their trial is planned for September 2015, in part to allow the SFO time to bring charges against further alleged co-conspirators.
Former Barclays traders Peter Charles Johnson, 59, Jonathan Mathew, 33, and Stylianos Contogoulas, 42, also charged with conspiracy to defraud, appeared in court in February.
ICAP, which in September settled regulatory investigations into allegations of manipulation of yen Libor, declined to comment. (Editing by David Goodman)