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Five cleared over Libor rate rigging

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A UK jury has cleared five City brokers who were accused of helping to rig a key lending rate used between banks.

The judge has asked the court to consider a majority verdict on the sixth defendant.

The six were accused of helping jailed banker Tom Hayes, who worked for Swiss bank UBS, to manipulate the Libor rate that banks use to lend money to one another.

They worked for the financial firms Icap, Tullett Prebon and RP Martin.

Prosecutors had alleged that the brokers conspired to rig the rate in exchange for treats such as takeaway curries and drinks.

Explaining the Libor saga

Noel Cryan, 49, of Chislehurst, Kent, Danny Wilkinson, 48, of Hornchurch, Essex, Colin Goodman, 53, of Epsom, Surrey, James Gilmour, 50 of Benfleet, Essex, and Terry Farr, 44, of Southend-on-Sea in Essex were all found not guilty.

The jury has reached a not guilty verdict on one count of conspiracy to defraud by former Icap broker Darrell Read, 50, of Wellington, New Zealand, but has not reached a verdict on the second count.

Important

In August, Mr Hayes, became the first person to be convicted over the Libor rate-rigging scandal. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for manipulating the rate while working at UBS and Citigroup between 2006 and 2010. He made around $300m for his employers during that time.

The sentence was reduced to 11 years after an appeal.

Libor, the London inter-bank lending rate, is considered to be one of the most important interest rates in finance, upon which trillions of dollars' worth of financial contracts rest.

The trial comes almost seven years after US regulators first looked at how Libor rates were set.

Most of the big names in global banking have been fined collectively $9bn and the way Libor rates are set and overseen has been changed.

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