‘You Don’t Want to Know:’ What Brokers Said in Hayes Messages

Tom Hayes
Former trader Tom Hayes arrives for his trial at Southwark Crown Court in London, June 3. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Interdealer brokers who helped former UBS Group AG trader Thomas Hayes rig Libor were rewarded with bribes of as much as 35,000 pounds ($54,000), prosecutors said.

Hayes paid outside brokers to help him move Libor by leaning on their contacts at other rate-setting banks, and making up trades to indicate trading activity in cash markets, a practice known as “spoofing.”

Prosecutors presented instant messages sent between Hayes and alleged co-conspirators to jurors at his criminal trial in London Monday. Hayes, 35, is accused of eight counts of conspiracy to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, a benchmark for financial products worldwide.

The brokers openly discussed how much money they would receive in instant messages about the transactions, prosecutors said. The payments were made through wash trades, a series of transactions that canceled each other out for the sole purpose of getting the broker a commission.

“Have you just done a 35,000 pound trade today?” one broker asked a colleague after he entered one such trade into the company’s internal system.

“Yeah,” the second broker replied in the February 2009 instant message conversation shown to the jury.

“Holy s--t!,” the first broker said. “How did you do that?”

“You don’t want to know,” the second broker said.

“You’re right,” the first broker countered. “I don’t want to know.”

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