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Trader denies rate-rigging in London LIBOR case

December 17, 2013

LONDON (AP) — A former Citibank and UBS trader pleaded not guilty Tuesday to eight charges related to rigging the London interbank lending rate, known as LIBOR.

The charges against trader Tom Hayes — who specialized in products pegged to yen-dominated Libor and worked in offices in London and Tokyo — relate to the period August 2006 to September 2010. He is charged with conspiring with employees from other leading institutions, including Deutsche Bank, UBS, JP Morgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and HSBC.

Hayes, 34, pleaded not guilty Tuesday at London’s Southwark Crown Court. His trial is not due to begin until 2015.

Two other defendants — Terry Farr, 42, and James Gilmour, 48, — have denied separate charges of conspiracy to defraud.

LIBOR is the critical rate that banks use to borrow from each other. It indirectly affects the cost people pay when they take out loans — such as when consumers buy a home or a car.

The British Bankers’ Association sets the LIBOR daily after a dozen international banks submit estimates of what it costs them to borrow. Regulators in the U.S., Britain, Switzerland and other countries allege that some banks submitted fake numbers on purpose to have the LIBOR set at a rate that better suited them.

Britain’s Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, Switzerland’s largest bank UBS and the Dutch Rabobank have been fined a total of $3.6 billion by U.S. and British regulators for manipulating LIBOR.

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