Libor scandal: Financial Conduct Authority pushes to ban former UBS trader over Libor-rigging accusations

 
Hayley Kirton
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The FCA has accused Arif Hussein of "closing his mind" to the risk of Libor rigging (Source: Getty)

A former UBS trader is facing a ban from working in financial services after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a decision notice today claiming that he was not a "fit and proper person".

The FCA alleges that Arif Hussein played a role in manipulating Libor while working as head of UBS’s GBP Rates Desk. The FCA claims that Hussein was involved in 21 communications during the start of 2009 in which he informed UBS' submitters of his preferred position for the benchmark rate based on his trading positions.

However, as Hussein has contested the FCA's decision and referred the matter to the Upper Tribunal, the City watchdog's proposed ban currently has no effect and is pending the tribunal's decision.

The FCA alleges that Hussein "closed his mind to the risk" that UBS' submitters might use his preferred trading position to inform their submissions for Libor and, in doing so, he acted "recklessly".

However, David Hamilton, a senior associate at Stephenson Harwood – the law firm representing Hussein – criticised the FCA for using Hussein as a "regulatory scapegoat", and added: "Those who set the cultural ethos within banks, who oversee risk systems and controls, and who drive strategy; these, we are told, are the individuals who must be held accountable; these are the lynchpins. And yet for all the galaxy of senior managers at UBS, against whom did the FCA decide to take action and devote vast resources in its Libor crusade?"

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