Japanese lender pulls trader back from London

Japanese lender pulls trader back from London

TOKYO - Agence France-Press
Japanese lender pulls trader back from London

A sign board shows the logo of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Tokyo. REUTERS photo

Japan’s biggest bank said yesterday it had suspended a London-based trader over the widening interest-rate rigging scandal in Britain that has rocked confidence in financial markets.

“One trader has been told to be on stand-by at home,” said a spokesman for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Tokyo, adding that “we would like to withhold further comment”.

Japan’s top selling Yomiuri Shimbun said that Britain’s financial regulators were interviewing a male, non-Japanese employee who worked for the bank in London. The banking giant had earlier suspended two other London-based traders in relation to their suspected involvement in the rate-rigging scandal while working for Rabobank. The scandal saw Barclays bank fined £290 million ($455 million) after admitting that it attempted to manipulate Libor and Euribor rates between 2005 and 2009.

Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, is a flagship instrument used as an interest rate benchmark throughout the world, while Euribor is the eurozone equivalent. The pair affect what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money. The United States and European Union are probing the scandal, which is threatening to draw in more banks and has called into question oversight in London, one of the world’s top financial centers.

Mitsubishi UFJ has recently announced that it was interested in opening a branch in Turkey but no application to Turkey’s banking regulator has been submitted yet.