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Sacked trader 'kept £2.2m bonus'

Published 02/06/2015

The money was part of Tom Hayes's welcome package when he started at the firm but months later he was sacked in disgrace
The money was part of Tom Hayes's welcome package when he started at the firm but months later he was sacked in disgrace

Former trader Tom Hayes was allowed to keep a £2.2 million bonus when he was sacked from Citigroup for allegedly trying to fix Libor rates, a jury has been told.

The money was part of his welcome package when he started at the firm in December 2009 but just months later he was sacked in disgrace.

Hayes began trading for the company in February 2010. His total income, including salary and incentives, for December 2009 was £1,967,249.91 while he took home £1,545,001.21 between January and September 2010, London's Southwark Crown Court was told.

A special committee at Citigroup carried out an investigation into the claims before sacking Hayes in September 2010.

Passages from his termination letter were read out to the court where Hayes, 35, of Fleet, Hampshire, has denied eight counts of conspiracy to defraud between 2006 and 2010.

Citigroup executives told Hayes they had "uncovered that you attempted to manipulate Yen Libor and Tibor (the Tokyo rate) rates in order to benefit your trading position".

It states that Hayes "improperly attempted to influence" Citbank's Yen Libor submission and also "communicated with individuals" at other banks and in a plot to "influence the Yen Libor and Tibor submission process generally".

Hayes wrote back to deny the claims and said he was "extremely disappointed" by the firm's decision. He argued that the decision to sack him was made "without ever properly explaining to me the accusation or the evidence underpinning these accusations".

He also said he was "disappointed" that he did not have a chance to respond and defend himself at a "proper hearing".

Prosecutors claim that Hayes, a former UBS and Citigroup trader, was motivated by greed and acted as the "ringmaster" in an enormous fraud to rig the benchmark Libor interest rate.

Hayes, who was arrested in December 2012, at first admitted acting "dishonestly" in relation to Libor manipulation during interviews with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

He was looking at a deal, including potentially giving evidence against others which might earn him a lighter sentence, the jury has been told.

The prosecution pointed out that he has since changed his mind. He claimed that rigging was widespread in the industry.

Hayes said in interview: "I have been hang out to dry ... and it is really pissing me off. There is no way I am the only Libor manipulator in the world.

"It's just not possible, you know. I might be the most open about it and I've left reams of evidence, naively , but yeah it's just bullshit."

The jury has already heard claims that Hayes said he was "confused about everything", including the rules he might have broken. He told SFO investigators that Libor was not a regulated product, he had no compliance training and no rules were outlined to him.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow at 10am.

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