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UK: Tom Hayes claims interest rate rigging was ‘industry-wide practice’

 |  June 1, 2015

A trader accused of trying to rig a key interest rate which is behind trillions of dollars in financial deals told investigators he was taking part in an “industry-wide” practice.

Prosecutors claim Tom Hayes, 35, a former trader for UBS and Citigroup, was motivated by greed and acted as the “ringmaster” in an enormous fraud to rig the benchmark Libor interest rate.

A jury at Southwark crown court was played excerpts of an interview with investigators, regarding “chats” Hayes had with a contact in the summer of 2009.

In the interview, Hayes says: “There was one occasion where there was a very deliberate attempt by me and a guy … to align our position and make an agreement to keep our Libors, you know, high and then the low. That was probably for me the most dishonest because at the end of the day I can say on a particular day ‘look, I want them high, I want them low’.”

Hayes claimed he was “confused about everything”, including what rules may have been broken. He added: “As far as I was concerned, any rules I’d broke were retrospectively being applied. And I wasn’t sure … Libor wasn’t a regulated product. We had no compliance training. No rules were outlined to us.”

Full content: The Telegraph

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