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UK FCA seeking to ban former UBS trader over alleged LIBOR manipulation

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UK FCA seeking to ban former UBS trader over alleged LIBOR manipulation

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is looking to prohibitformer UBS Group AGderivatives trader Arif Hussein from participating in any regulated financialservice, because of his alleged involvement in rigging benchmark interest ratesincluding LIBOR.

In a decision notice published April 14, the FCA saidHussein, who was head of UBS's U.K. exchange rate desk, engaged in 21communications between Jan. 28, 2009, and March 19, 2009, in which he informed UBS'sU.K. currency trader-submitters of his preferences, or lack of preference, forU.K. LIBOR rates. Hussein's preferences were based upon his trading positions,the FCA said, adding that such communications were routine and only ended whenHussein resigned from his position.

The FCA added that Hussein lacked integrity and acted in areckless manner by not keeping in mind that the bank's trader-submitters woulduse his preferences to influence the U.K. LIBOR submissions they made on behalfof UBS, with the aim of benefiting his trading positions.

Hussein disputes the FCA decision and has referred thematter to the Upper Tribunal, where he and the FCA will present their cases. Hesaid in an email to Reuters that he feels "victimized by theregulator," saying the FCA "outsourced" its LIBOR-rigging probeto UBS. He also said none of the senior managers who told him to share histrading positions were held accountable.

UBS agreed in December 2012 to pay approximately CHF1.4billion to U.K., U.S. and Swiss authorities to settle LIBOR-relatedinvestigations.