Hayes Tried Enlisting UBS Manager ‘Pete the Greek’ to Push Libor

Thomas Hayes, the former trader charged with manipulating Libor, asked a senior manager at UBS Group AG for help pushing the benchmark rate to suit his positions, according to e-mails shown to a London jury.

Hayes sent an e-mail to Panagiotis Koutsogiannis, then the bank’s head of funding for the rates division, requesting that he approve a UBS trade to help move Libor lower.

“Hi mate, we have a big 1m fixing position over the next month,” Hayes wrote in a July 1, 2008, e-mail shown to the jury by prosecutors Friday. “My question is can I use some balance sheet in the market for 1m? We really need to get the fixing down.” The move would “save the bank about 1m USD,” he added.

The 35-year-old Hayes is accused of eight counts of conspiracy to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, a benchmark for financial products worldwide. Hayes, a former trader at UBS and Citigroup Inc., is the first person to go on trial over the scandal.

It is not clear whether Koutsogiannis, who was known at the bank as “Pete the Greek,” complied with the request. Prosecutors said that by that stage Hayes’s relationship with the yen Libor rate setter supervisor, Roger Darin, had deteriorated. Koutsogiannis hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.

On Friday, the 13th day of the trial, the jury was also shown graphics on how Hayes worked with brokers and other traders to allegedly nudge Libor higher or lower.

In one exchange, a broker asked him whether he was pleased with recent moves in the rate.

“I’m never really happy,” Hayes wrote in the 2008 instant message. “Apart from at QPR. Then I get happy.” Queens Park Rangers are a soccer team in London.