Trader guilty over Libor rate-rigging

Tom Hayes

Former trader Tom Hayes was found guilty on all eight conspiracy charges

Former City trader Tom Hayes has been found guilty at a London court of rigging global Libor interest rates.

He is the first individual to face a jury trial for manipulating the rate, which is used as a benchmark for trillions of pounds of global borrowing and lending.

Many of the world’s leading banks have paid heavy financial penalties for tampering with the key benchmark.

The jury found Hayes guilty on all eight charges of conspiracy to defraud.

Each count carries a possible 10-year sentence.

The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Hayes, a former star trader, rigged the Libor rates daily for nearly four years while working in Tokyo for UBS, then Citigroup, from 2006 until 2010.

It took the jury one week to arrive at the verdicts.

‘Mars bar’

During the trial, the court heard that manipulating the Libor rate was so commonplace that an offer of a Mars bar could get it changed.

Hayes told a fellow trader: “Just give the cash desk a Mars bar and they’ll set wherever you want.”

Hayes’s trading activities were based around movements in the Libor rate – the London interbank offered rate.

It is an interest rate used by banks around the world to set the price of financial products worth trillions of pounds.

Even minor movements in the rate can result in bumper profits for a trader manipulating the rates.

Hayes confessed, saying that he did not want to be extradited to the US.

He claimed that the manipulation was widespread.

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