Exclusive: Libor probe claims Barclays executive and a trader

Wed Sep 5, 2012 6:34am EDT
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By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The fallout from an investigation into the attempted manipulation of global benchmark interest rates has again rocked Barclays Plc, as the bank recently ousted a top executive and a trader in New York for their roles in the scandal, according to regulatory filings obtained on Tuesday.

Barclays formally notified the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on August 29 that the executive, Ritankar "Ronti" Pal, was "discharged" on July 30 because the bank had a "loss of confidence" in him as a manager for failing "to properly supervise individuals on his team", one of the filings stated. His departure had been previously reported but no explanation had been given.

Pal, 42, had been a managing director at the bank and for the past six years was the head of U.S. interest rates trading in New York. At least four former Barclays traders who worked under Pal in New York have drawn scrutiny from U.S. prosecutors and regulators in the investigation into the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate and related benchmark interest rates, according to people familiar with the probe.

Barclays ousted Pal, who could not be reached for comment, a month after the bank paid a $450 million fine to reach a settlement with U.S. and British authorities in the interest rate rigging probe.

On July 30, Barclays also terminated Dong (Don) Kun Lee, a New York-based derivatives trader who reported to Pal, for allegedly engaging "in communications involving inappropriate requests relating to Libor." Lee could not be reached for comment.

The regulatory filings disclosing the reasons for the two departures are not normally made public and were provided by a source.

Barclays did not specifically comment on the terminations of Pal and Lee. But said in a statement that "the firm undertook a thorough and robust internal disciplinary process promptly following the regulatory review which was completed in late July."

The dismissals reveal that even after settling with authorities, the full extent of Barclays' role in the rate-rigging scheme is still playing out.   Continued...

Barclays bank headquarters in Canary Wharf, east London August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris