FCA disqualifies Deutsche Bank trader for LIBOR manipulation

August 3, 2016

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today announced that it has banned a former trader at Deutsche Bank AG following a criminal conviction in the United States for fraudulently manipulating US Dollar LIBOR submissions.

Michael Ross Curtler, employed by Deutsche between 1993 and December 2012, has been disqualified from the UK financial services industry for “lacking honesty and integrity following a criminal conviction for fraud in the US” according to an FCA announcement earlier today.

Between 2000 and 2012, Mr Curtler had responsibility for submission of Deutsche’s USD LIBOR rates, which he knew were supposed to reflect the rate at which Deutsche perceived it could borrow USDs in the London interbank market.  Mr Curtler pleaded guilty before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for his role in a conspiracy to manipulate Deutsche’s US Dollar LIBOR submissions.  It transpires that Mr Curtler altered Deutsche’s USD LIBOR submissions following requests from fellow traders.  Mr Curtler is currently awaiting sentencing but could face a maximum of 30 years imprisonment, in addition to a fine of up to $1M and/or be ordered to pay restitution.
Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said:

‘Mr Curtler has admitted engaging in dishonest conduct in making USD LIBOR submissions. Dishonesty must disqualify him from UK financial services. Consequently, he must be prohibited.’ 

This isn’t the first time the FCA has moved to disqualify traders as a result of their involvement in the LIBOR manipulation scandal – former Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank) traders Lee Stewart and Paul Robson were both banned in March 2015 following criminal convictions in the US.

With criminal investigations ongoing in the US, it appears highly likely that the FCA will need to take further disciplinary action against traders and financial institutions.  With banks still feeling the impact of the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) scandal – and continuing to make substantial provisions for compensation in their recently published annual accounts – financial institutions must now wait to see whether LIBOR manipulation will result in a further raft of legal claims by disgruntled customers.

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