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British banker charged with Libor fraud

June 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

LONDON, June 18 (UPI) -- A British banker who worked as a trader at UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. has been indicted on fraud charges related to Libor manipulations, authorities said.

Fraud charges have already been filed in the United States against the former trader, Tom Hayes, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. However, Hayes is a British citizen living near London and Britain law forbids extradition of defendants who would face similar charges in another jurisdiction. As such, Hayes is unlikely to face charges in the United States, the newspaper said.

In Britain, charges filed against Hayes are the first attempt to charge an individual with Libor manipulation. The Serious Fraud Office in Britain said Hayes has been charged with eight counts "of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into the manipulation of Libor."

Several banks have already settled charges with regulators. British bank Barclays, for example, in 2012 agreed to pay $451 million to settle charges against it that were being pursued by British and U.S. finance regulators.

The Libor or London inter-bank offered rate is an average of lending rates banks charge to each other for loans. It is used as a benchmark rate that helps lenders set interest rates on trillions of dollars in commercial and personal loans.

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