FCA bans ‘reckless’ former RBS Libor submitter

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The FCA has banned former Royal Bank of Scotland employee Paul White for “reckless” Libor submissions that risked corrupting the integrity of the index.

According to the regulator, White was the primary RBS Libor submitter for Japanese Yen (JPY) and Swiss Francs (CHF) between March 2007 and November 2010.

White received 68 documented communications from RBS JPY and CHF derivatives traders during that period requesting positions that would benefit their trading positions, the FCA says. In addition, White sat next to CHF traders who made oral requests for CHF Libor submissions on a “weekly basis”.

When submitting RBS’ JPY and CHF Libor rates to the British Bankers’ Association, the FCA says White took such requests into account.

He also communicated with external brokers to rig the rate.

FCA director of enforcement and oversight Mark Steward says: “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.”

White would have been fined £250,000 were it not for his “serious financial hardship”, the regulator adds.

How RBS submitter helped rig Libor rate

The FCA’s final notice documents an exchange between RBS’ White and an external broker on 22 June 2010:

External Broker: “u got a bit less emotion in the 3’s fix [JPY] today?”

White: “unchanged should be the call, u want higher?”

External Broker: “yah, if not a msve prob”

White: “will c what we can do, maybe up a pip”

External Broker: “nice, much appreciated.”