A former Royal Bank of Scotland employee and Libor submitter has been banned from working in the financal services sector by the regulator after it found him to be lacking “integrity” in his dealings while submitting foreign currency rates for the Scottish bank.
The FCA said that were it not for Paul White’s current serious financial hardship, it would have fined him £250,000.
Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said: “As a Libor submitter Mr White had an obligation to ensure the submissions he made were proper ones. 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.
“This ban should reinforce the message that working in financial markets entails obligations and responsibilities and that serious failures will result in substantial penalties including fines and prohibitions.”
The ruling is the fourth action taken against a trader by the FCA for manipulating Libor submissions. UBS trader Tom Hayes was last year convicted in connection with the Libor scandal and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
White’s wrongdoing occurred between March 2007 and 24 November 2010, when he was the primary RBS submitter for Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc Libor.
The FCA said that during that time, White had received 68 documented communications from RBS Yen and Swiss Franc derivatives traders requesting submissions that would benefit their trading positions. In addition, between March 2007 and November 2008, White had sat next to a Swiss Franc derivatives trader who made requests for the currency Libor submissions to him on a weekly basis. In submitting RBS’ Libor rates to the BBA, the FCA said White took such requests into account.
A series of messages between White and an external broker showed that White changed the submission after requests from the other trader.
White told him: “unchanged should be the call, u want higher?”
The broker replied: “yah, if not a msve prob.”
White responded: “will c what we can do, maybe up a pip.”
RBS refused to comment, saying the people involved had left the organisation.