First banker jailed for rigging interest rates believes that new evidence will clear his name
The first banker jailed for rigging interest rates believes that new evidence will clear his name.
Tom Hayes, a former UBS trader, served five and a half years in jail before he was released at the end of January this year.
In 2015, he was found guilty and labelled the ‘ringmaster’ of an international conspiracy to move bank interest rates, technically known as Libor, and became the first British banker to be jailed since the financial crash in 2007-08.
Bid: Tom Hayes (pictured with his family) has filed an application, running to 2,300 pages, with the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body to review miscarriages of justice
Describing his time in jail as ‘very difficult’, Hayes told the BBC: ‘This wasn’t an easy sentence. In that time, I lost my mind, I lost my mental health.
‘I suffered deep bouts of depression. I harboured suicidal thoughts often. I was very angry and bitter. I struggled with my emotions.’
Libor determines the interest rate at which traders can lend and borrow money.
By manipulating the benchmark, traders could make more money depending on what was on their books. But Hayes, 42, believes this practise was well known, adding that traders had a fiduciary duty as part of their jobs to do all they could to maximise revenues and minimise losses for their banks.
Hayes also said that key evidence of Bank of England involvement in ‘rigging’ Libor was not disclosed at his trial.
In 2017 a secret recording was uncovered implicating the Bank in rigging Libor in 2007 and 2008, pressuring banks to understate what they were paying to borrow cash – a practice known as ‘low-balling’.
Hayes said: ‘Unfortunately some of that evidence was not actually in front of my jury.
‘But there was no desire to go after the real story here, which was the low-balling story – which was the submission of false and inaccurate rates – because it was just easier for everyone to go after the traders.
‘At the time it was expedient that, for political reasons, a banker went to prison and I was that banker. I was given an egregious sentence and my life destroyed.’
Hayes has filed an application, running to 2,300 pages, with the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body to review miscarriages of justice.
‘I don’t blame the jury for it but they were presented with a false narrative and they reached a conclusion based on those facts,’ he told the BBC. ‘I believe had they been presented with full evidence they would have reached a very different conclusion.’