UK regulator bans ex-RBS LIBOR submitter Paul White

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today announced the imposition of a ban on Paul White, a former a Japanese Yen (JPY) and Swiss Franc (CHF) LIBOR submitter at Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS).

Mr White is banned from performing any function in relation to any regulated financial activity.

The FCA has ruled that Mr White is not a fit and proper person due to a lack of integrity inhis conduct when submitting RBS’s JPY and CHF rates to the British Bankers Association (BBA), which used to administer LIBOR.

Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA said:

“As a LIBOR submitter Mr White had an obligation to ensure the submissions he made were proper ones. By allowing his submissions to be set, in effect, by those with collateral financial interests in the outcome, Mr White recklessly disregarded the risk – the obvious risk – that his LIBOR submission might corrupt LIBOR’s integrity. This ban should reinforce the message that working in financial markets entails obligations and responsibilities and that serious failures will result in substantial penalties including fines and prohibitions.”

Between March 8, 2007 and November 24, 2010, Mr White served as the primary RBS submitter for JPY and CHF LIBOR. According to the FCA, Mr White was “reckless in not taking into account the consequences that in benefitting either the trading positions of RBS’s JPY and CHF derivatives traders, or his own JPY and CHF money market positions, or those of external parties, his LIBOR submissions would be improper”.

During the above-mentioned period, Mr White received 68 documented communications from RBS JPY and CHF derivatives traders requesting submissions that would benefit their trading positions. Also, between March 2007 and November 2008 Mr White sat next to a CHF derivatives trader who made oral requests for CHF LIBOR submissions to him on a weekly basis. In submitting RBS’s JPY and CHF LIBOR rates to the BBA, Mr White took such requests from JPY and CHF derivatives traders into account.

This is the fourth public action against a trader for manipulating LIBOR submissions that the UK regulator has taken. The FCA has imposed 7 fines, totalling £426 million, on firms for misconduct relating to LIBOR.

For the full announcement from the FCA, click here.

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