FCA lifetime ban for LIBOR manipulation

FCA, financial benchmarks, Libor, regulator news31 July, AtoZForex.com, Lagos Until recently, the FCA has imposed 8 fines, aggregating £653.6 million on firms over the misconduct relating to the longstanding LIBOR case. Also, 14 warning notices have been issued to individuals for misconduct relating to interest rate benchmarks.

In the latest verdict as regards this case, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the ban of Lee Stewart, an ex trader at Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank). Mr. Stewart has now been barred from the from the UK financial services industry for being found wanting in honesty and integrity. Earlier in March, he was also found guilty in the US for his role in a conspiracy to manipulate Rabobank’s US Dollar LIBOR submissions.

The FCA has been clamping down on former traders who have been found guilty of playing a role in the market manipulation case. Paul Robson, another Rabobank trader was recently handed a lifetime ban. Mr. Robson holds the record as the made a record, the first Briton to be found guilty of attempted rigging of Yen LIBOR rate. Robson has also been convicted by US regulators on criminal grounds for over interest rate-rigging, as he also faces potential conviction on criminal charges in the UK. Additionally, he has been condemned upon unethical behaviour after pleading guilty for attempt to manipulate LIBOR rates in 2014. The sentencing is set to commence in 2017, with FCA lifetime ban imposed on the Rabobank trader.

Rabobank, the Dutch giant known as a global leader in Food and Agriculture financing and sustainability-oriented banking had previously paid a $1 billion to US and European regulators last year in settlement for its involvement in the global LIBOR manipulation scandal. The ban comes ahead of US sentencing in 2017 and reflects the FCA’s commitment to protect the integrity of the UK financial system.

Commenting on the latest ban of Lee Stewart, Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “Mr Stewart was an experienced trader at Rabobank who, through his guilty plea, has admitted to participating in a criminal conspiracy to manipulate Libor over a prolonged period of time. His behaviour was inexcusable and very serious. This ban further reinforces our expectation that individuals and firms take responsibility for ensuring market integrity and reminds them of the consequences if they fall short of our standards.

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