British banker admits trying to fix Libor rates

 

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The Independent Online

The Serious Fraud Office has secured its first conviction of an individual banker over the Libor rigging scandal.

The banker, from a leading British bank, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in connection with manipulating Libor at Southwark Crown Court last Friday, but details were only released yesterday.

His identity and the name of the bank cannot be made public, the court ordered.

The SFO has charged 11 other individuals following its investigation into Libor rigging and they are awaiting trial. The police added that other individuals are also still under investigation.

The London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) is used for hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of loans and transactions around the globe, from simple mortgages and loans to complex financial derivatives. The benchmark is meant to show the interest rate which banks charge when lending to each other.

 

Seven banks or financial institutions have paid out billions of dollars in fines and settlements with the UK and US regulatory authorities. These include Barclays, which was the first to settle for £290m in the summer of 2012. Others include Lloyds, which paid £218m, UBS with a record $1.5bn (£0.9bn) and Icap $87m.

Rabobank, which last October agreed to pay $1bn to resolve US and European inquiries into Libor manipulation, separately yesterday confirmed that it has put two of its London staff on paid leave after an investigation into foreign exchange trading at the bank.

The bank’s internal investigation comes as more than a dozen regulators look at whether currency traders colluded with rivals at other banks to manipulate benchmark exchange rates.

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