Barclays will be forced to disclose the names of staff involved in Libor rigging, following a damning court judgment over claims it mis-sold interest rate swaps to a care home operator.
By Harry Wilson, Banking Correspondent
“[It] just seems perfectly obvious… that the people responsible for giving those instructions [manipulate Libor] must have known customers were being misled,” he said.
Tim Lord QC, representing Guardian Care Homes, which has more than 30 care homes around the country, told the hearing that disclosures so far from the bank were “likely to be the tip of the iceberg” and that the case went to “the heart of the management of Barclays”.
“Barclays seeks to serve up its own version of the facts, a santised version,” said Mr Lord.
Representing Barclays, Adrian Beltrami QC said the information asked for by Guardian Care Homes would have “signficant ramifications” and make the case “unmanageable”.
However, Lord Justice Flaux rejected the arguments and said Barclays would from next month have to begin providing the names of staff involved in Libor-rigging to Guardian Care Homes’ legal team.
“This is all shadow boxing. The real issue is they [Barclays] are trying to shut it down because they don’t like it,” he said.
The Guardian Care Homes’ claims against Barclays over mis-sold swaps, designed to protect the company against rises in interest rates, amount to about £38m. It is alleged that Libor-rigging at Barclays inflated the cost of the swaps to the company. The care home group has already settled a similar swaps claim against Lloyds Banking Group for an undisclosed sum.
In a statment Barclays said: “The judge’s decision means these issues will need to be determined at a full trial in due course. This business had a suite of advisors and a lot of financial experience and skill in-house. We understand that Graiseley entered into their swaps with sufficient understanding to exercise their own judgment as to whether the products would meet its business objectives. They are a significant business, which owes Barclays £70m. We do not believe the case has merit and will defend it.”