September 14, 2018 / 4:17 PM / a year ago

Britain's FCA bans ex-Deutsche Bank trader after Euribor rigging

(Reuters) - Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority has banned former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar from performing any function related to any regulated financial activity, the financial watchdog said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Banker, Christian Bittar leaves Westminster MagistratesMagistrates court in London, Britain, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Christian Bittar, 46, was sentenced to five years and four months in March after pleading guilty for plotting to rig global Euribor interest rates.

“If he had not been convicted and imprisoned for the same matters, the FCA would have sought a financial penalty of 6.5 million pounds ($8.50 million),” said Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA.

“As it is, we have prohibited him from performing any regulated function, reinforcing the message of the criminal court,” Steward said.

Apart from Bittar, former Barclays trader Philippe Moryoussef was also sentenced to eight years for the same crime.

The two men were charged with conspiring to manipulate the Euro interbank offered rate (Euribor), which helps determine rates on more than $150 trillion of financial contracts and loans worldwide, between January 2005 and December 2009.

“Between March 2005 and June 2009, Bittar made at least 81 requests to Deutsche Bank submitters for high or low EURIBOR submissions to benefit trading positions,” Steward said.

Barclays was the first of 11 major banks and brokerages to be fined in 2012 in a global investigation into allegations of rate-rigging. Its $453 million penalty sparked a backlash that forced out former CEO Bob Diamond, an overhaul of rate-setting rules and the British criminal inquiry.

Three years later, Deutsche Bank was ordered to pay $2.5 billion and was accused of obstructing regulators and “cultural failings”. Its London-based subsidiary pleaded guilty to criminal wire fraud.

($1 = 0.7649 pounds)

Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens

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