Ex-RBS Trader Fired Over Libor-Rigging Sues for Unfair Dismissal

A former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc trader sued the lender over his firing for alleged misconduct related to manipulation of benchmark interest rates.

Simon Green, who traded derivatives tied to short-term moves in interest rates in dollars and euros, filed an unfair dismissal suit, according to documents from a London employment tribunal. He was let go in March, weeks after the Edinburgh-based bank paid $612 million to settle with regulators probing its attempts to rig the London interbank offered rate.

Claims that traders tried to influence Libor, the benchmark for $300 trillion of contracts worldwide, led to criminal probes and regulatory fines for Barclays Plc, UBS AG, RBS and broker ICAP Plc. RBS has fired seven employees for misconduct related to Libor, a person familiar with the matter said in April.

Sarah Small, an RBS spokeswoman, declined to comment. The bank has said it will claw back bonuses from those involved to help pay any fines.

Green’s lawyer, Layla Bunni, said she couldn’t immediately comment when reached by phone at her office in London. Copies of the employment complaint aren’t publicly available.

Green may argue he was singled out unfairly, or that the bank knew about his actions and did nothing until regulators intervened, according to employment lawyer Jo Keddie, who isn’t involved in the case.

”It will also be interesting to see whether Mr. Green’s managers have been retained or dismissed by the bank as they may well have been aware of the day-to-day trading activities,” she said in an e-mail.

Damages Cap

Damages for unfair dismissal are capped at 74,200 pounds ($119,000) in the U.K. If the tribunal finds he was unfairly treated, he may be able to reclaim lost bonus payments or other entitlements beyond the compensation cap, Keddie said. The lawsuit may also help Green get regulatory approval from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority to continue working.

Four former Deutsche Bank AG traders won their employment lawsuit in Germany after being fired in the bank’s probe into the submission of rates for Euribor and Swiss Franc Libor. The judge said Deutsche Bank didn’t have processes to prevent conflicts of interest, and ordered the employees be reinstated.

Regulators on Sept. 25 said ICAP employees tried to manipulate yen Libor in return for money, dinners and champagne, levying an $88 million fine and filing U.S. criminal charges against three former brokers. One of former ICAP brokers was known as ’lord Libor,’ they said.

A hearing in Green’s case is scheduled on Oct. 10 at the central London employment tribunal.

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