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FSA’s McDermott Named Enforcement Chief After Leading Libor Case

Tracey McDermott has been named the U.K. financial regulator’s head of enforcement after leading its investigations into attempted manipulation of interbank offered rates and a push to prosecute insider trading.

McDermott was named director of the Enforcement and Financial Crime Division at the Financial Services Authority, a role she’s performed in an acting capacity since April 2011, FSA Managing Director Martin Wheatley told staff in an e-mail today. She will head the enforcement unit at the Financial Conduct Authority when the FSA is split in two next year.

“This is a particularly exciting time to be part of the leadership of the FSA as we look towards the new regulatory landscape,” McDermott said.

McDermott took over as acting enforcement chief when Margaret Cole was appointed managing director last year, a post she left in March to join the private sector. The enforcement division has won 10 convictions for insider trading and levied its largest fines ever against a firm and an individual since McDermott took over, Wheatley said. She joined the FSA in 2001 as an associate in enforcement.

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest lender, was fined a record 59.5 million pounds ($93.1 million) by the FSA in June for attempting to rig the London interbank offered rate and Euribor, its equivalent in euros, to benefit some derivatives traders’ own positions and for the bank to appear more healthy during the financial crisis. The fine was part of a 290 million-pound penalty levied by the FSA and U.S. authorities.

McDermott, FSA Chairman Adair Turner and interim Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bailey testified on the Libor investigation to a parliamentary committee on July 16. She told the panel the FSA is investigating seven banks on suspicion of submitting false interest rates, and regulators in other countries are looking into additional lenders.

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