A former trader accused of rigging the market says being a vice president at Barclays is like working at McDonald's

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carlo palombo barclaysReuters / Peter Nicholls

  • In a recent courtroom testimony, ex-Barclays trader Carlo Palombo likened being a vice president at Barclays to working at McDonald's.
  • Palombo is accused, along with three other individuals, of rigging the euro interbank offered rate - or Euribor - between 2005 and 2009.

To most people, rising to the rank of vice president at a major financial firm is an immense accomplishment - a rare feat that just a small number of people ever achieve.

But some don't get the fuss, and Carlo Palombo is among them.

The ex-Barclays trader is currently on trial amid accusations that he rigged benchmark interest rates. Speaking in court on Thursday during his second day of testimony, Palombo said being a VP at Barclays is "the equivalent to the guy that serves you in McDonald's," according to a Bloomberg report.

Palombo's tone-deaf comments came as he tried to downplay his seniority at the firm.

"Vice president is not what everyone thinks it is," he replied after a prosecutor questioned his comparison. "It is junior."

For context, as a supposed "junior" level employee, Palombo made £1 million ($1.35 million) in 2017, according to prosecutor James Waddington.

Palombo, 39, is on trial along with his former Barclays colleagues Colin Bermingham and Sisse Bohart. Ex-Deutsche Bank trader Achim Kraemer also stands accused. The quartet has denied charges that they fixed the euro interbank offered rate - also known as Euribor - between 2005 and 2009, according to Bloomberg.

Read the full Bloomberg report here.

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