ICAP reassures over impact of Libor scandal

INTERDEALER broker ICAP will bring its cost-cutting programme forward in a bid to shore up its profits, the firm said yesterday.

In an attempt to placate shareholders ICAP said it will aim to cut £50m of annual costs by March 2013, rather than March 2014 as previously announced.

Around a hundred staff have already left the firm’s London and New York offices following last month’s round of redundancies.

Meanwhile chairman Michael Spencer insisted that his company will not be dragged into the Libor-fixing scandal, despite suspending two traders while the investigation continues.

“We, like the majority of other brokers, I would assume, were approached by regulators a while ago to ask us to investigate and look into our business, particularly in relation to some clients,” the ICAP chief said. “We thought it appropriate to put a couple of staff on administrative leave as a result of information that came out.”

ICAP revealed that revenue for the first quarter was down nine per cent compared to last year, which it attributed to issues including the Eurozone crisis, the Queen’s Jubilee and regulatory uncertainty.

Despite this investors welcomed the overall bullish outlook, with shares in the firm closing up 1.1 per cent at 314.5p.

Full-year profits are on track to be in the middle of analysts’ forecasts of £335m-£365m, compared to £354m last year.

The board also confirmed that it is considering a retail bond issue worth up to £50m as part of a diversification of its funding options.