6 brokers cleared of market rate-rigging in UK

A British court has cleared six brokers of trying to fix the benchmark interest rate known as Libor, the London interbank offered rate.

The six men had been accused of helping convicted banker Tom Hayes manipulate the Libor rate — the key rate that banks use to borrow money from each other — over four years.

Hayes was sentenced to 14 years in prison last year for manipulating the rate while working at UBS and Citigroup between 2006 and 2010.

Five of the brokers were cleared Wednesday after a four-month trial. The sixth was cleared Thursday amid applause in the London courtroom, where the other accused hugged each other and cheered from the public gallery.

Libor affects trillions of dollars in contracts including mortgages and bonds.