ICAP Plc, the world’s largest broker of transactions between banks, said senior managers were never aware of or involved in attempts by traders at UBS AG to manipulate the London interbank offered rate.
The Swiss bank paid an unidentified interdealer broker about 15,000 pounds ($23,000) a quarter over an 18-month period for a “fixing service” for yen Libor, the U.K. regulator said in December, when the Zurich-based lender paid 1.4 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion) to settle claims it rigged the benchmark. That firm is ICAP, said a person briefed on the matter who asked not to be identified because details of the probe are private.
David Casterton, now ICAP’s global broking head, was aware of the payments from UBS, the Wall Street Journal said today, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the investigation. Casterton, 55, didn’t respond to two telephone messages left by Bloomberg at his office today. ICAP disputes that the payments were improper.
“ICAP strongly refutes that Casterton or anybody else in ICAP senior management were ever aware of, or involved in, any improper activities in relation to the attempted manipulation of yen Libor,” Brigitte Trafford, a spokeswoman for London-based ICAP, said in an e-mailed statement today. “Neither the company nor its senior management was aware of any corrupt payment from any source at any time. All payments received from UBS were documented and invoiced.”
Chris Hamilton, a spokesman for the Financial Conduct Authority, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
ICAP rose 1.2 percent to 357.9 pence in London trading today. The stock is up 17 percent this year.
ICAP is also being probed by Canada’s Competition Bureau for allegedly facilitating the manipulation of yen Libor by panel banks including Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Deutsche Bank AG, according to papers filed with the Ontario Superior Court in May 2011. ICAP said at the time that it had received requests from government agencies probing banks’ Libor submissions and is cooperating fully.
Interdealer brokers such as ICAP act as a go-between for banks that trade bonds, stocks, currencies, energy and derivatives.