The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced today that it has banned former Royal Bank Of Scotland (RBS) trader, Paul White, from participating in any regulated financial services activities for his part in submitting quotes for compiling the Libor interest rate benchmark.
The enforcement of the ban comes amid the ongoing trial of five former Barclays bankers who appeared in a London court last week accused of conspiring to rig Libor interest rates.
The FCA found White not to be a fit and proper person, lacking in integrity by virtue of his conduct.
Between 8 March 2007 and 24 November 2010, White was the primary submitter of yen and Swiss franc Libor quotes for RBS. The FCA has, as a result, found White not to be a fit and proper person and lacking in integrity by virtue of his conduct.
According to Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA: “As a LIBOR submitter, White had an obligation to ensure the submissions he made were proper ones. By allowing his submissions to be set, in effect, by those with collateral financial interests in the outcome, Mr White recklessly disregarded the risk, the obvious risk, that his LIBOR submission might corrupt LIBOR’s integrity.”
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During the period stated, White is said to have received 68 documented items of communication from RBS JPY and CHF derivatives traders requesting submissions that would benefit their trading positions. In addition, White is known to have sat next to a CHF derivatives trader who made oral requests for CHF LIBOR submissions to him on a weekly basis.
In submitting RBS’s JPY and CHF LIBOR rates, White took the requests from JPY and CHF derivatives traders into account. He also took into account requests received from brokers on behalf of an external JPY derivatives trader when making RBS’s JPY LIBOR submissions.
Were it not for White’s serious financial hardship, the FCA would have fined him £250,000.
Today’s ban reflects the FCA’s commitment to protect the integrity of the UK financial system. The case is the FCA’s fourth public action against a trader for manipulating LIBOR submissions and follows fines and bans in early 2015 for senior executives for LIBOR compliance failures.
The FCA has stated that were it not for White’s serious financial hardship, it would have fined him £250,000.