Tuesday 16 June 2015 9:20 pm

Tom Hayes Libor-rigging trial: Broking market described as the Wild West

The former trader on trial for alleged interest rate rigging described the broking market he worked in as being like the “Wild West” in court yesterday.
Former UBS and Citigroup yen derivatives trader Tom Hayes told the court that the market had no rules and relationships in the sector relied on lavish entertainment.
The court heard that Hayes operated in a high-pressure environment, which took its toll on the broker and led to him threatening brokers and picking fights with colleagues in an effort to move interest rates in support of his trading.
The court was also told that Hayes threatened to drop brokers if he felt they failed to help to persuade traders at other banks to move benchmark interest rates in directions to suit his trading book.
Hayes is the first person to stand trial on charges of alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, used to price an estimated $450 trillion (£288 trillion) of financial contracts worldwide. 
British prosecutors allege Hayes was the ringmaster in a conspiracy with 25 staff from at least 10 banks and brokerages to rig the interest rate benchmark.
He has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of conspiracy to defraud between August 2006 and September 2010 but has not yet had the chance to lay out his defence. The trial continues.