July 18 (Bloomberg) -- Philippe Moryoussef, a Singapore-based derivatives trader at Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s biggest brokerage, left the bank as investigators probe his involvement in the suspected manipulation of interest rates, according to two people with knowledge of the move.
Moryoussef’s departure last month was by mutual agreement and relates to his work at his past employer, Barclays Plc, rather than Nomura, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the departure hasn’t been made public. Moryoussef didn’t return messages sent via LinkedIn and wasn’t contactable through directory searches in Singapore and London.
Barclays, the U.K.’s second-largest bank by assets, was fined a record $451 million by U.K. and U.S. regulators last month for rigging the London and euro interbank offered rates. Traders tried to manipulate the benchmark to boost profit, while managers instructed rate-setters to make artificially low submissions to avoid the perception the lender was under stress during the crisis. At least 12 banks are being probed by regulators over allegations they also tried to rig the rates.
“Nomura is aware of the investigation into the setting of Euribor and Libor rates,” the lender said in a statement. “The allegations against Mr. Moryoussef related to a period of time before he joined Nomura. We would point out that Nomura is not a member of either the Euribor panel or the Libor panel, and therefore has no role in the setting of those rates.” Officials at the lender declined to comment beyond the statement.
Moryoussef joined Nomura in February 2011 after a yearlong stint at Morgan Stanley, according to the U.K. Financial Services Authority’s register. He worked at Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc from August 2007 to June 2009 and at London-based Barclays from May 2005 to August 2007.
FSA spokesman Chris Hamilton declined to comment on whether Moryoussef is under investigation as part of its probe. Officials at Barclays declined to comment on Moryoussef.
Libor is determined by a daily survey that asks banks to estimate how much it would cost them to borrow from one another for different timeframes and in different currencies.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest publicly traded bank, said this month it suspended two London-based traders who are being investigated as part of the Libor probe. The suspensions weren’t related to their work at Mitsubishi UFJ, the Japanese firm said.
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