Libor probe begins targeting traders

Robert Diamond

Several groups of traders involved in the Libor scandal are currently under investigation by international regulators.

The investigation involves more than 12 traders from at least nine major banks who allegedly worked together to target varying interest rates across the world, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The alleged abuses point to a worldwide conspiracy, and banks that employed the traders have come under fire about the interest rate manipulation. Public and criminal scrutiny of the illegal trader activities comes after the revalation of the scandal involving a key interest rate—the London interbank offered rate—commonly known as Libor.

Last month, Barclays agreed to pay approximately $450 million to U.S. and British authorities for its participation in Libor manipulation. The scandal, which has widened to involve at least 16 financial institutions, forced several Barclays executives, including CEO Robert Diamond, to resign, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While no charges have been formally filed against the traders, some legal experts expect that a growing reserve of evidence in the form of emails and instant messages will leave the traders vulnerable to criminal charges.

One of the investigation’s largest targets involves a group of traders whose efforts were spearheaded by Thomas Hayes, a former UBS employee. Hayes allegedly worked with traders to influence submissions for yen Libor.

The ring could include traders working at six of the 16 banks that were then-members of the panel that established the yen daily Libor rate, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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