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MP call for £4.3m Icap Tory donations to go to charity

Treasury select committee member and Labour MP John Mann is calling on the Conservative party to give political donations made by Icap chief executive and founder Michael Spencer to charity.

Icap Europe was today fined £54.5m by global regulators for Libor rigging after colluding with UBS traders between 2006 and 2010.

Mann has written to Prime Minister David Cameron to say the donations should be treated in the same way as FCA Libor fines and given to armed forces charities. 

He also wants the Treasury select committee to examine Icap’s role in Libor manipulation, which could include calling Spencer for evidence.

The FCA found no senior management knew about the manipulation between traders and brokers. One broker referred to himself as “Lord Libor” while others were persuaded to rig rates with meals and champagne.

According to website searchthemoney.com, which aims to make political donations more transparent, Spencer, a Conservative party treasurer from 2006 to 2010 and rumoured to be under consideration for a peerage, has donated more than £4.3m in total to the party.

Spencer is chairman of IPGL group which has given £3.8m to the Conservatives including £10,000 to MP for Ipswich Ben Gummer. Icap, previously known as Intercapital Private Group has given £350,000 while City Index, another firm owned by Spencer, has donated £5,500 to the party.

As an individual he has donated £228,000 including £1,500 to MP for Hastings and Rye Amber Rudd and £2,000 to MP for Wirral West Esther McVey.

Speaking to Money Marketing Mann says: “The donations should be treated in the same way as Libor fines and given to armed forces charities.

“I have written to David Cameron to ask him and I don’t think a peerage should be considered any more. Icap and Libor is definitely something the Treasury select committee should look at.”

Labour vice-chairman Michael Dugher has also called on the Conservatives to give back the money and says: “David Cameron fought tooth and nail to avoid launching a proper inquiry into the scandal of rigging interest rates, the very scandal which has now engulfed one of his big donors – a man who has given him nearly £5m. The Tories should now return this money.”

In a statement issued on Icap’s website today, Spencer says the actions are “deeply regrettable” and none of the brokers involved are still with the company while others are being disciplined.

He says: “Their conduct contravenes all that Icap stands for. As soon as their actions came to light, we provided assistance to regulators in the US and UK to understand what had happened.”

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Mr. Mann, Schadenfreude displayed by public figures such as MPs has a nasty habit of backfiring.

  2. Not sure what your point is Sam… All Union donations to the Labour Party are fully accounted and above board.

  3. Thanks for your comment Smithy. TBH I wasn’t referring to union contributions to the Labour party or anyone else. What I was suggesting, and obviously did not make clear was that if ICAP (or current or former employees) have broken the law then no doubt that will be dealt with in the fullness of time.

    What am suggesting is that attempting to make political capital out of an unconnected occurrence would open Pandora’s box. There is no evidence to suggest that donations received by the Conservative party were as the result of a criminal enterprise. If it is the case that it is simply distasteful as appears to be Mr. Mann’s assertion then I would suggest that donations across the political spectrum would need to be unwound. Bernie Ecclestone and John Mills spring to mind.

  4. Surely the important point is this “The FCA found no senior management knew about the manipulation between traders and brokers.” So there is no evidence that Spencer knew about it or was involved in any way other than the fact he employed some people who broke the rules and the law.

    If you apply this standard then any time a member of a union is found to have broken the law Labour would by Mr Mann’s logic have to give all of their contribution from that union away.

    I do find this sort of political point scoring a bit of a joke as wasn’t it the Labour Government who suddenly decided that F1 could have a temporary reprieve from the tobacco advertising ban just after good old Bernie Ecclestone made a rather substantial donation to the Labour Party?

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