British trader to face trial on Libor fixing charges

LONDON (AFP) - A British trader will face trial on charges of conspiring to manipulate the Libor interbank lending rate, a court ruled on Thursday.

Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes, 33, will next appear in the dock for a preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court in London on July 4.

Hayes appeared before magistrates to face eight counts of conspiracy charges spanning from August 2006 to September 2010 which allege he aimed to defraud "with the intention that the economic interests of others would be prejudiced and/or to make personal gain for themselves or another".

It is alleged that he conspired together with employees from Citigroup Global Markets Japan Limited, Deutsche Bank, and a host of other financial institutions.

Before granting Hayes bail and ordering him to appear at crown court, district judge Quentin Purdy told him to stand and "take your hands out of you pockets".

The judge told Hayes: "I am formally sending you to trial on all eight charges before this court."

In December, British, Swiss and US regulators fined UBS a total of 1.4 billion Swiss francs (S$1.9 billion) for having manipulated the Libor Interbank lending rate, which determines a vast number of financial and interest rate contracts around the world.

Hayes, who has worked in London and Tokyo and who specialised in products pegged to yen-dominated Libor, was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by the US Justice Department last December.

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