Monday 2 November 2020 3:29 pm

Trader convicted of rigging Libor to be released from prison in January

Tom Hayes, a former UBS and Citigroup trader convicted of rigging the Libor benchmark, is to be released from prison in January after more than five years. 

Hayes, who was convicted of rigging the London interbank offered rate (or Libor) in 2015, will be released on 29 January, according to his lawyer.

Read more: Prepare for Libor’s demise, City regulator tells markets

The 41-year-old has served around half of his 11-year sentence. Hayes was the first person to be convicted of Libor rigging following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, and remains the highest-profile conviction in relation to the rate-fixing scandal. 

Libor is an interest rate benchmark used to price contracts from derivatives and mortgages to company loans and credit cards worth trillions of dollars globally.

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The rate became the subject of a global scandal after it emerged traders had been manipulating Libor for a profit, with banks fined billions of dollars following the scandal. 

Libor is in the process of being scrapped, and lenders will no longer be able to offer customers products using the rate from the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Only a handful of bankers across the globe were ever charged in relation to the Libor-rigging scandal, and several of Hayes alleged co-conspirators were acquitted. 

Hayes’ case is being reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) – the body responsible for investigating suspected miscarriages of justice.

Read more: Financial regulator to get greater powers to phase out Libor

“It is deeply disappointing that Tom will have served his entire sentence before the CCRC have made a decision on his appeal,” said Hayes’ lawyer, Karen Todner.

Hayes’ father, Nick Hayes, told Bloomberg his son’s release would be subject to several conditions, including a restriction on travel, until the end of his sentence. 

“It’s been an incredibly long haul,” Nick Hayes said. “We’re looking forward enormously for when he comes out. We’re just ticking off the days.”

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