Tom Hayes, ex-UBS and Citigroup trader was found guilty for his role in the Libor scandal. The once “star trader” faces eight counts of conspiring to rig Libor and 14 years in prison. While this was the first conviction in the scandal that has sprawled across the globe, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office has achieved significant victory in this case, the Financial Times reports. In its early stages, the regulator alleged that Hayes, along with 24 others conspired to manipulate benchmark interest rates.
"The jury were sure that in his admitted manipulation of LIBOR, Hayes was indeed dishonest. The verdicts underline the point that bankers are subject to the same standards of honesty as the rest of us,” said David Green, director, Serious Fraud Office in a statement. "This brings to an end one strand of the SFO's continuing Libor investigation. One senior banker previously pleaded guilty and another 11 individuals await their trial."
The agency had a lot at stake in this case. Not only did it risk its relationship with overseas counterparts but it did put a strain on its reputation.
On Monday, a jury at Southwark Crown Court found the ex-trader guilty of conspiring to manipulate yen Libor. Hayes was the first to stand trial and is certainly not the last since the SFO alleged that he conspired with as many as 24 others.
Hayes testified so he could have been charged in the U.K and was avoiding extradition to the U.S. where charges for white-collar crimes are higher than the U.K.
In 2012, Barclays was fined £290 million for attempting to manipulate the London interbank offered rate—this triggered investigations into other banks and encouraged Greene, to conduct its own probe, which led to the conviction of Hayes. In the past, the U.K. regulator initiated criminal investigations into the rigging of foreign exchange benchmarks and misconduct at large corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline ?and Tesco—these cases are still opened.