Libor scandal

Brokers suspended in Libor inquiry

More than a dozen traders and brokers in London and Asia have been fired, suspended or put on leave by their employers as a multinational probe into alleged manipulation of crucial global lending rates accelerates, reports the FT. Regulators have been investigating US and European banks that help set interbank lending rates in London and Tokyo since late 2010, in an intensive profile inquiry that spans three continents and involves at least nine separate enforcement agencies. Icap, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker, has suspended one employee and put two more on administrative leave in the past six weeks. Icap declined to comment beyond noting that it was “co-operating fully” with authorities and had disclosed the official requests for information late last year. The story cites people familiar with the probe as saying traders have also been suspended, fired or placed on leave in recent months at Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland andCitigroup. All four banks declined to comment. Regulators sought information from the three interdealer brokers that dominate the rates market – Icap, Tullett Prebon and RP Martin, looking at information-sharing among brokers, hedge funds and banks, the sources said. An RP Martin spokesman said the firm was not under investigation and declined to comment on suspensions. A Tullett Prebon spokesman said the firm had not suspended any employees. Separately, the FT reports the US authorities are modelling their investigation on an earlier prosecution of three energy companies for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, which resulted in criminal settlements and prison terms of up to 14 years.

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