Former employee of Deutsche Bank, Christian Bittar (right)
London - AFP
The first bankers charged over alleged manipulation of the Euribor interest rate will face trial in London in September next year, a court ruled on Wednesday.
London's Southwark Crown Court said that the trial of six bankers charged with manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate would begin on September 4, 2017.
The six are the first to be charged with conspiracy to defraud in relation to the Serious Fraud Office's (SFO) ongoing investigation into the alleged manipulation of the Euribor between 2005 and 2009.
Former Deutsche Bank trader Christian Bittar, who was ordered to pay a £1.0 million ($1.4 million, 1.3 million euro) bail, is being represented by Alexander Cameron, brother of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Euribor is the eurozone equivalent of the daily London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, which was found also to have been manipulated.
It is alleged that collusion to manipulate the Euribor rate occurred between employees of Deutsche Bank, British lender Barclays and French giant Societe Generale to profit the accused and their employers.
At an earlier hearing Monday, prosecutor James Waddington said "the rate was manipulated to suit the trading position of... traders".
The six defendants, comprising five men and one woman, are living in Britain, Denmark, Germany, Singapore and the United States awaiting their trial.
Four of them have since left Barclays, one has left Deutsche Bank while the other remains employed by the German lender.
The SFO will have to decide at a hearing on March 18 whether five other individuals will also face charges.
They are four ex-Deutsche Bank employees and one former Societe Generale banker.