A City trader has gone on trial at Southwark Crown Court accused of dishonestly manipulating Libor rates.
Libor is a financial trading mechanism by which banks set borrowing rates.
The jury heard 35 year old Tom Hayes from Fleet in Hampshire is an ‘extremely intelligent man’ who earned a seven-figure sum by the time he was 30.Embed from Getty Images
Prosecuting Mukul Chawla QC told the jury:
As a trader he was highly successful and gained profits for UBS which in anyone’s view were simply enormous and for which, you may think, he was very well paid.
During that time, from September 2006 to 2009, you’re going to hear and see evidence that on an almost daily basis, he set out to dishonestly manipulate or rig Libor at his bank and other banks.
The prosecution alleges that Mr Hayes, while working for UBS and Citigroup had dishonestly tried to move borrowing rates to inflate his own pay in a criminal plot involving other banks.
The prosecutor said he ‘elevated the dishonest manipulation of Libor to new heights.’
Mr Chawla said:
Mr Hayes was the essential player. He was the ringmaster at the very centre telling other people what to do and getting them to do what he wanted […] rewarding them when they helped him.
When arrested in 2013 it’s alleged he told investigators:
The point is, you are greedy, you want every little bit of money you can possibly get.
He added ‘that’s how you are judged, that’s your performance metric.’
Mr Hayes pleads not guilty to eight charges of conspiracy to defraud between 2006 and 2010.
The trial is continuing.
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