Libor scandal: Tom Hayes becomes first trader to be convicted of rigging benchmark interest rates

Hayes was arrested in December 2012

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The Independent Online

City trader Tom Hayes, 35, has become the first person to be convicted of rigging Libor rates following a trial at London's Southwark Crown Court.

Hayes worked as a trader in yen derivatives at UBS before joining the American bank Citigroup in Tokyo. He was sacked from Citigroup following an investigation into his trading methods. He returned to the UK in December 2012 and was arrested following a two-and-a-half year criminal investigation by the SFO.

He was alleged to have manipulated Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate, which is used to set the interest rate banks use to lend to each other for $450 trillion-worth of financial contracts and loans.

Hayes was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and faces up to 10 years in jail for each count of conspiracy over the manipulation of Libor, according to Reuters.

Hayes gave evidence for two weeks during a nine week trial in Southwark. He portrayed himself as numbers-obsessed and socially awkward, but consumed by the demands of his job.

He first admitted to the allegations in 2013 but went on to deny them a short time later. Mukul Chawla QC, prosecuting, accused him of a charade. Hayes meanwhile protested that he had been used as a "political football" and that he was "following a narrative" to avoid extradition to the US, where the charges against him could have been worse.

David Buik, market commentator at Panmure Gordon and Co., said that Hayes had become a scapegoat in the Libor scandal in which 21 people have been charged.

"With no director or any other manager of a bank having been convicted, Mr Hayes can consider himself a tad unlucky – a bit of a scapegoat," said David Buik, market commentator at Panmure Gordon and Co.

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