Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

NZ broker acquitted of one charge in Libor trial

Darrell Read pleaded not guilty to two charges of conspiracy to defraud. Photo / AP
Darrell Read pleaded not guilty to two charges of conspiracy to defraud. Photo / AP

A Wellington man accused of helping to rig international banking rates has been been acquitted on one charge of conspiracy to defraud, with a London jury still deliberating on the other charge he faces.

British ex-pat Darrell Read and five other brokers were accused of helping convicted trader Tom Hayes rig Libor, a benchmark interest rate which is a key part of the relationship between borrowers and lenders around the world.

The sextet had been on trial since October in London's Southwark Crown Court.

But a jury overnight acquitted five of the men - Noel Cryan, Colin Goodman, Danny Wilkinson, Terry Farr and James Gilmour.

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The jury found Wellington's Read not guilty on one charge of conspiracy to defraud and are still deliberating on the second.

The jury reached its verdicts on Read's five co-accused in around a day, in much less time than many observers were expecting.

Read, who used to work for London brokerage ICAP, moved to New Zealand in 2007 with his family.

Hayes, who went on trial alone last year, is currently serving a sentence of 11 years in jail after having his original 14-year term reduced on appeal.

Libor explained:

• Libor - or London interbank offered rate - is woven into the fabric of the world's capital markets.

• The rate sets the price for banks, international financiers or anyone wanting to raise funds through the interest rate markets.

• From major international deals through to home mortgages, Libor is key to the relationship between borrowers and lenders globally.

• Financial instruments worth hundreds of trillions of dollars are tied to Libor.

• A British banking trade group sets the Libor every morning after international banks submit estimates of borrowing costs.

• Libor became engulfed in scandal after the global financial crisis and allegations emerged that banks had rigged these rates.

• A string of financial institutions have paid billions in settlements.

- NZ Herald

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