Ex-UBS leader blames rapid expansion for Libor-rigging

 
Tim Wallace
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UBS’s Libor-rigging culture grew in part because the Swiss bank became too big and complex for managers to keep track of behaviour properly, former bosses told MPs and peers yesterday.

Former group chief executive Marcel Rohner said he now realises they hired new staff who were motivated by money rather than by serving clients.

“Some of the people we hired, looking back, clearly have to qualify as mercenaries,” Rohner told the Parliamentary Commission into Banking Standards. “That is not how we should have built the firm. Financial services is people providing advice – ultimately the reputation of the firm depends on all of the individuals there much more than for a manufacturer.”

The bosses, including former investment bank heads Huw Jenkins, Jerker Johansson and Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, denied prior knowledge of Libor fiddling.

“The level of ignorance seems staggering to the point of incredulity,” said commission chairman Andrew Tyrie MP.