Belfast Telegraph

Former RBS worker banned by City watchdog over 'improper' Libor submissions

A former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) employee has been banned by the City watchdog from working in financial services for his "reckless" behaviour when making Libor submissions.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Paul White's actions would have seen him hit with a £250,000 fine if he was not already facing "serious financial hardship".

The FCA said Mr White, who had worked for RBS as a Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc Libor submitter, had made "improper" Libor submissions between March 8 2007 and November 24 2010.

It said he had been contacted 68 times during that period by traders asking for submissions that would benefit their trading position.

He also received requests on a weekly basis from a Swiss Franc derivatives trader who sat next to him.

The FCA said Mr White had taken these requests into account when submitting the Libor rates.

It also found that he had considered requests from brokers on behalf of an external trader when making RBS's Libor submissions for Japanese Yen.

The FCA said that Mr White was asked by an external broker on June 22 2010 whether he " got a bit less emotion in the 3's fix (JPY) today?"

He replied: "unchanged should be the call, u want higher?".

The broker said: "yah, if not a msve prob", with Mr White replying , "will c what we can do, maybe up a pip".

The FCA said it had handed the former RBS trader a warning notice on June 18 2014, but action was halted due to an ongoing criminal investigation from the Serious Fraud Office into some of the bank's staff.

Mark Steward, FCA's director of enforcement and market oversight, said Mr White's ban should reinforce the message that "serious failures will result in substantial penalties".

He said: "As a Libor submitter Mr 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."

The FCA said Mr White's ban was the fourth public action taken against a trader for manipulating Libor submissions.

It has also handed out seven fines for Libor misconduct worth £426 million.