FCA Bans Ex-RBS Banker Who Moved Libor Submission `Up a Pip'

Updated on
  • Paul White recieved 68 requests to manipulate his submissions
  • Ban is the FCA's fourth punishment following Libor scandal

A former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Libor submitter was censured by U.K. regulators, becoming the fourth person banned from the country’s financial industry in the aftermath of the scandal linked to the benchmark interest rate.

Paul White received 68 messages from RBS traders requesting submissions that would benefit their positions between 2007 and 2010, the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement Tuesday. "Will c what we can do, maybe up a pip," White responded to one request made public by the regulator.

RBS was one of the first banks fined in relation to the London interbank offered rate, with a $612 million penalty levied by global authorities in February 2013. Since then, more than 20 individuals have been charged in the U.K. and U.S. in connection to manipulation of the interest-rate benchmark, and total fines have reached about $9 billion.

“As a Libor submitter Mr. White had an obligation to ensure the submissions he made were proper ones," Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said. "By allowing his submissions to be set, in effect, by those with collateral financial interests in the outcome, Mr. White recklessly disregarded the risk -- the obvious risk - that his Libor submission might corrupt Libor’s integrity."

Bivonas Law LLP, the firm representing White, declined to immediately comment.

Financial Hardships

White would have been fined 250,000 pounds ($358,000) were it not for his "serious financial hardship," the FCA said in the statement. He was issued with a warning notice in June 2014, but proceedings were stayed due to an ongoing criminal investigation conducted by the Serious Fraud Office.

Prosecutors at the SFO have had mixed results in Libor cases. Last year, former UBS Group AG banker Tom Hayes was convicted of rigging the rate, which underpins trillions of dollars worth of loans and securities. But earlier this year, six ex-brokers who worked with Hayes were cleared by a London jury.

White is the fourth trader banned by the FCA for manipulating Libor submissions. Paul Robson and Lee Stewart, both formerly of Rabobank Groep, and Michael Curtler, a former Deutsche Bank AG trader, were also punished.