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Last updateFri, 24 Mar 2017 12pm

 

National Round-up: The Libor Benchmark scandal

Tuesday saw the beginning of a series of trials surrounding the manipulation of the Libor Benchmark. With the “ringleader” of the scandal currently facing prosecution, what exactly are the nationals saying?

 

The Financial Times
Reporting on the trial, The Financial Times focussed on the trial of Tom Hayes and his insistence that his actions were “not dishonest”despite having admitted to rigging the Libor benchmark in interviews. Hayes is currently facing eight accounts of fraud and, according to the newspaper, provided the prosecution with the names of other offenders – which included his brother-in-law Peter O’Leary at HSBC.

The BBC
The BBC focussed on how Tom Hayes was not only at the centre of the libor rate-rigging scandal, but that he also attempted to persuade other banks to manipulate the rate to suit his own trading positions. The Jury was played a telephone conversation that took place between Hayes and brother-in-law O’Leary in which they discussed persuading the HSBC banker submitting the Libor rate to “keep it on the low side” for a few days. In another electronic conversation Hayes discussed manipulating the rate with an RBS trader, Will Hall saying “The three-month Libor is too high, ‘cos I’ve kept it artificially high.”

The Guardian
The Guardian focussed on Hayes’ motives for manipulating the benchmark and the prosecution’s statement that his “desire was to earn and make as much money as he could.” Despite being paid £1.5m by UBS he felt “under-paid” and so left the company to take a job at Citigroup where he was paid £3.6m. The Telegraph According to The Telegraph, Hayes would bribe traders by drumming up business for them and buying them curries in order to persuade them to manipulate the rates earning his employer almost £200m between 2006 and 2009. Although Hayes originally co-operated after his arrest, he later changed his mind and denied the charges.

The Independent
According to The Independent, Hayes was the “ring-master” of the Libor scandal. Mr Hayes, who had been diagnosed with mild aspergers, described how his former employer realised he had “valueable information” on how the Libor would move, but that he was employed to trade, not to rig the benchmark.

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