Ex-UBS Trader Hayes May Indicate Plea at U.K. Libor Hearing

Tom Hayes, the former UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. trader charged with manipulation of benchmark interest rates, may indicate how he will plead when he appears in a London criminal court today.

While the 33-year-old isn’t scheduled to enter a plea, he can do so at any point in the proceedings, Jina Roe, a spokeswoman for the Serious Fraud Office, which is prosecuting the case, said today.

“It’s unlikely that a formal plea will be entered tomorrow, though the defendant could indicate what his intention is,” Roe said. “A plea could be offered at any time.”

Hayes is charged with conspiring with employees of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Rabobank Groep and Deutsche Bank AG, as well as Tullett Prebon Plc, ICAP Plc and RP Martin Holdings Ltd., over a four-year period to manipulate yen Libor rates.

At his first court appearance last month, Hayes’s lawyer, Lydia Jonson, declined to indicate how he would plead when asked by a judge. Jonson didn’t return a call and e-mail seeking comment on the hearing.

Hayes joined UBS in 2006 and worked at the Swiss lender until 2009, when he joined Citigroup. He worked at Edinburgh-based RBS from 2001 to 2003.

Four of the charges cover the period from Aug. 8, 2006, until Dec. 3, 2009, while he worked at UBS, and the other four from Dec. 1, 2009 until Sept. 7, 2010, when he was at Citigroup.

Hayes tried to manipulate rates “with the intention that the economic interests of others would be prejudiced and/or to make personal gain for themselves or another,” U.K. prosecutors said in the indictment.

Hayes has also been charged by the U.S. Justice Department, which is running a parallel criminal investigation.

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