Six bankers were formally charged in a British court on Monday with conspiring to manipulate Euribor benchmark interest rates, while another five accused in the case did not appear for the hearing.
The case involving 11 former Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Societe Generale employees is Britain's fourth prosecution of rate-fixing allegations since it joined a global inquiry kick-started by U.S. regulators in 2008.
It is the first to cover allegations of manipulation of Euribor, which ranks alongside the London Interbank Offered Rate, Libor, as a key benchmark used to set terms for $450 trillion in securities worldwide.
Prosecutors told Westminster Magistrates' Court they had learned only on Monday that four Germans and a Frenchman would not attend the preliminary hearing in the case. The case was referred to the higher-level Southwark Crown Court, where a first hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.
A lawyer for one of the five who did not attend, Joerg Vogt, said her client was under no obligation to appear. A lawyer for another, Ardalan Gharagozlou, declined to comment.
Lawyers for the other three "no-shows" - Andreas Hauschild, Kai-Uwe Kappauf and Stephane Esper - did not immediately respond to emails from Reuters seeking an explanation for why their clients did not appear. All are Germans apart from Esper who is French.