Libor trial: Hayes’ ‘humongous deal’ to contact

Tom Hayes denies eight counts of conspiracy to defraud. Picture: AP
Tom Hayes denies eight counts of conspiracy to defraud. Picture: AP
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A FORMER trader promised to pay his contact up to $100,000 (£65,000) if he kept the Libor rate “as low as possible”, jurors at Southwark Crown Court in London were told yesterday.

Prosecutors in his trial claim that Tom Hayes, 35, a former UBS and Citigroup trader, was motivated by “greed” and acted as the “ringmaster” in an enormous fraud to rig the benchmark foreign exchange interest rate.

The court heard that, in a telephone call in 2008, Mr Hayes told a broker: “I don’t care right – just get me any f****** trade which pays you basically, mate.

“If you keep fixes unchanged, I’ll do a humongous deal with you.

“If you keep it as low as possible, I can do that. I’ll, of course, support and pay you… $50,000, $100,000, whatever you want, all right? I’m a man of my word.”

Mukul Chawla QC, prosecuting, told the jury Hayes was becoming an “increasingly dominant force” within his market by May 2008 and he was approached by another bank, Goldman Sachs.

“He was offered quite a lot of money but UBS wanted to hold on to him,” the prosecutor told the court.

The jury was shown an e-mail dated 24 June, 2008 from UBS’s head of European trades, Sascha Prinz, to the investment bank’s chief executive, Jerker Johansson, which described Hayes as one of his “most talented traders in Tokyo”.

“Tom Hayes is being aggressively pursued by Goldman Sachs,” he wrote. “They have offered Tom a larger role with significantly more responsibility, plus a $3.2 million guarantee for 2009.”

His bonus at UBS for 2007 was $1.25 million, which was “on the low side of his expectations”, Mr Prinz added.

The jury has previously been told Hayes left UBS in September 2009 and joined American bank Citigroup, where he earned around £3.5m for just nine months’ work in 2010.

Hayes, denies eight counts of conspiracy to defraud over a period from 2006 to 2010. The case centres on the allegation that he was seeking to rig the submissions made by banks, used to calculate that rate.

The trial before Mr Justice Cooke, which is expected to last ten to 12 weeks, was adjourned until Monday.