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British banker overturns Libor conviction

British banker found guilty of rigging Libor interest rates sees his conviction overturned



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A British banker found guilty of manipulating Libor interest rates has had his conviction overturned.

Gavin Black, who headed one of Deutsche Bank’s trading divisions in London, was convicted in 2018 along with his New York-based colleague Matthew Connolly for wire fraud and conspiracy.

Overturned: The decision means the UK is the only country in the world where anyone has been found guilty of Libor crimes without their convictions overturned

Overturned: The decision means the UK is the only country in the world where anyone has been found guilty of Libor crimes without their convictions overturned

But both have their convictions quashed after a lengthy legal battle. Judges at the Manhattan Court of Appeals said the US government had failed to demonstrate that their conduct was “false, fraudulent or misleading.”

The decision means the UK is the only country in the world where anyone has been found guilty of Libor crimes without their convictions overturned.

Former UBS trader Tom Hayes, the first to be jailed in the UK for Libor crimes, said: ‘This US ruling shows that the Serious Fraud Office should never have brought a case against me.’

Libor was an important reference rate at which banks lend to each other. The now-discredited rate has been calculated based on estimates submitted by leading banks of what they would have to pay if they borrowed from a peer.

But many bankers have been accused of manipulating their estimates to flatter their own institution’s figures. The debacle impacted financial contracts worth more than £200 trillion established on the basis of Libor.

Seth Levine, of law firm Levine Lee LLP, representing Black, said the banker “has done his job, as he has lived his life, with honor and honesty.”

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