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Banker 'succumbed to temptation'

Former trader gets 14 years jail for libor manipulation

Tom HayesFormer City trader Tom Hayes has become the first to be jailed for fixing a key rate on the international money markets.

Hayes, 35, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud at a London court of rigging global Libor interest rates. It involved 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.

Following a seven-year investigation and nine-week trial, the jury found Hayes guilty on all eight charges of conspiracy to defraud. He was jailed for 14 years and is expected to spend half of his sentence in custody before any possibility of release on licence.

Originally from Fleet in Hampshire, he rigged the Libor rates daily for nearly four years while working in Tokyo for UBS, then Citigroup, from 2006 until 2010.

Justice Cooke said Hayes was the “centre and hub” of the manipulation.

He said: “You succumbed to temptation because you could… To gain status, seniority and remuneration,” adding that Hayes’ actions were “dishonest and wrong”.

The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office, which said Hayes had set up a network of brokers and traders involving 10 financial institutions. He cajoled or bribed them to help rig Libor rates for profit.

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

Defence barrister Neil Hawes asked the judge to take into account the prevalence of Libor manipulation at the time, and also that Hayes had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum.

Mr Hawes also said that managers and senior managers at Hayes’ bank knew of, and in some cases condoned, Libor manipulation.

The trial, which kicked off on May 26, was part of an inquiry that has led to 21 people being charged and some of the world’s most powerful banks and brokerages paying around $9 billion in regulatory settlements.

Justice Cooke said a message had to be sent to the world about dishonest conduct in financial services. “Probity and honesty are essential as is trust … The Libor activities of which you took part puts all that in jeopardy.”

Photo: Tom Hayes (ITV)

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