Lloyds Said to Suspend Employee in Libor-Manipulation Probe

Lloyds Banking Group Plc suspended a female trader following the lender’s fine for interest-rate manipulation, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Emma Koops was suspended by the London-based lender after it reached a 226 million-pound ($380 million) settlement with global regulators over allegations it rigged the London interbank offered rate and related benchmarks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Koops is the first woman reported to be suspended amid the six-year-old probe into allegations traders sought to profit by manipulating Libor, the benchmark interest rate for more than $300 trillion of securities ranging from mortgages to student loans. At least ten firms have been fined almost $6.5 billion in total for rigging Libor and related rates.

She worked on the international money markets desk at the bank, according to a LinkedIn profile matching her name. Koops has worked at Lloyds since 2002, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s register shows. She didn’t immediately respond to e-mails sent to her work and LinkedIn accounts. A colleague who answered her office telephone declined to comment. Lloyds said in a statement it won’t comment on individuals.

Lloyds was also the first lender to be penalized for manipulating the Sterling Repo Rate to reduce the fees it and other banks paid to the Bank of England in return for aid during the financial crisis.

The lender received a 20 billion-pound bailout during the financial crisis, and taxpayers still own 25 percent of the lender. Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio’s efforts to return the lender to full private ownership are being hampered by past misconduct, including selling insurance on loans to clients who didn’t need it.

Lloyds is reviewing the alleged involvement of as many as 22 employees, one of the people said. By the time of the settlement, 10 had already left and six had been suspended. The remainder are going through the bank’s disciplinary process, according to the person.

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