Image: Barclays plc Image: Barclays plc

The trial of five former Barclays workers accused of rigging the Libor interest rate began on Tuesday with the prosecution saying "they were driven by money".

All five - Stylianos Contogoulas (44), Jonathan James Mathew (35), Jay Vijay Merchant (45), Alex Pabon (37) and Ryan Reich (34) - deny one count of conspiracy to defraud, by manipulating the Libor rate, which the court heard effects either directly or indirectly every government, business and household.

The trial at Southwark Crown Court is expected to last around 12 weeks.

The Libor (London interbank offered rate) is used to set the price of financial products by banks around the world. It is responsible for trillions of pounds worth of deals. The court heard that even the slightest of movements in the rate could see traders gain a significant profit.

Only one person has been found guilty of rigging the Libor so far. Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes was jailed for 14 years in August after being found guilty on each of the eight counts of conspiracy to defraud he faced.

Hayes was described as the 'ring leader' for the entire scandal. It is estimated he and his colleagues made around £300 million as a result of the manipulation.

In January, six City traders were all cleared of the charges against them - conspiring with Tom Hayes to manipulate the Libor.