A former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc trader was fined 250,000 pounds ($338,000) and banned from working in the industry by the UK markets regulator for manipulating Libor, five years after the bank was penalised for its role in the scandal.
The Financial Conduct Authority issued the penalty against Neil Danziger on Monday, saying the ex-trader “routinely” made requests to RBS Libor submitters to alter the rate to suit his trading positions between 2007 and 2010. The regulator said Danziger, 42, also took trading positions into
account when he acted as a submitter during the period.
Danziger is the latest in a string of traders who have been fined, banned or sent to prison over the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, a key interest-rate benchmark used to value trillions of dollars of securities. A dozen banks and brokerages have been fined about $9 billion since global authorities started investigating the behavior a decade ago. RBS was fined 87.5 million pounds by the FCA for its role in the scandal in 2013.
“Danziger’s reckless disregard of these standards has no place in the financial services industry,” Mark Steward, FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, said in a statement. “Market participants cannot turn a blind eye to what the community, through its laws and regulations, expects nor apply their own, lower standards.”
Danziger’s trading was mainly concerned with the Japanese yen variant of Libor. As well as attempting to influence the bank’s own submissions with his trading positions, he used a broker to try and influence other lenders’ Libor submissions, according to the FCA. He also placed so-called “wash trades” — trades with no legitimate purpose other than to pay commissions to brokers to thank them for favours. Danziger denied that was the reason for the transactions.
Danziger’s lawyer said that the former trader, who was first interviewed by regulators in 2012, is a scapegoat for the “systemic problems relating to Libor.”
“The last five years have been incredibly challenging,” Ben Rose, a lawyer at Hickman and Rose in London, said in a statement. “He is emotionally exhausted and financially drained. He leaves it to others, better resourced, to press the FCA for answers.”
A spokeswoman for RBS declined to comment. The Danziger penalty was first issued in June 2014 and put on hold a month later at the request of the UK Serious Fraud
Office, which was also investigating the case.