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FCA confirms ban on former UBS Libor trader

The FCA has confirmed its decision to ban a former UBS banker from any regulated activity after a Libor-rigging probe.

In a court battle that has lasted nearly three years, the FCA has been attempting to ban Arif Hussein, the former head of UBS’s GBP Rates Desk, alleging that on at least 20 occassions in 2009 he communicated his preference for the direction of the Libor rate to those who made the bank’s submissions.

The regulator claimed that Hussein allowed the bank’s Libor submitters to set rates that would benefit UBS’ trading positions.

Hussein decided to appeal the ban in April 2016. While the Upper Tribunal sided with the FCA earlier this year, it cast a critical note on some of the decisions made by the regulator.

For example, the court said that Hussein was actually “relatively junior” and only had involvement in a “limited number of chats”.

While the FCA argued there was a lack of firm evidence against more senior staff, the court argued that its focus should have been higher up the chain of command.

In a final notice against Hussein issued yesterday, the FCA confirms that Hussein is now prohibited from “performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by an authorised person”.

The FCA writes: “The Tribunal determined that the [FCA’s] decision to impose an order prohibiting Mr Hussein from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity carried on by an authorised person…is one which is reasonably open to [the FCA] to make.”

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