Managers at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) condoned and even participated in manipulation of LIBOR rates, according to a Bloomberg investigation. The behavior, said employees and others, extended beyond the four traders who were fired earlier in the year for their role in the practice.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that employees, attorneys and regulators indicated that the practice was commonly accepted. Between 2007 and 2010 it was common for not just RBS traders but their managers as well to push the rate up or down to boost derivatives profits.
“This kind of activity was widespread in the industry,” said David Greene in the report. Greene, a senior partner at the law firm Edwin Coe in London, added, “A lot of the traders didn’t consider this behavior to be wrong. They took it as the practice of the trade. This is how things operated, and it seemed harmless.”
Two people familiar with the interchange were cited saying that in 2007, Jezri Mohideen, who then headed the Singapore yen products area, used an instant message exchange to tell U.K. colleagues to lower the bank’s submission of LIBOR on a particular day. He gave no reason in his message for the request, according to the sources, but the person on the other end complied and provided the figure that Mohideen had asked for.