UBS Fined $1.5 billion for Libor Manipulation

Misconduct deemed 'more serious than Barclays'; damning e-mails released.

UBS AG’s $1.5 billion fine for rigging global interest rates expands the scandal to include bribery and highlights the influence of a trader in Tokyo who colluded with other banks to align their submissions.

The employee led efforts to influence Japanese Yen Libor submissions by paying brokers as much as 15,000 pounds ($24,400) a quarter and offering a payment to another for helping him keep that day’s rate low. The banker, identified by regulators as Trader A, worked at UBS in Tokyo from 2006 to 2009 and directly contacted employees at other banks to influence their submissions at least 80 times.

Trader A Boasts

Trader A boasted that he was able to rig the benchmark because he was “mates with the cash desks” at one unnamed bank and that they “always helped each other out,” a transcript of a Feb, 2, 2007 chat showed, according to the FSA.

Help Appreciated

On Feb 5, 2007, the trader contacted “Manager A” on an electronic chat: ” ...last 3m fix if you cld keep high (6m wd prefer high but not urgent) and if we cld keep 1m low wd be appreciated, if doesn’t suit let me know and maybe we can offset our fixes thx any help much appreciated.”

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