SINGAPORE: Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was sued for wrongful dismissal by a former Singapore-based trader who said the bank accused him of improperly trying to influence the setting of London interbank offered rates (Libor).
Tan Chi Min said the British Bankers’ Association, which sets the Libor rate, gets input from 16 London banks and he was in no position to influence the rate on his own. Tan sought to recoup US$1.5mil in bonuses and 3.3 million RBS shares. – Bloomberg
RBS, Britain’s biggest government-owned lender, is co- operating with investigations by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission into whether Libor had been manipulated.
Patricia Choo, a Singapore-based spokeswoman for RBS, declined to comment on the lawsuit. Suresh Nair, a lawyer representing Tan, also declined to comment.
Tan, the former head of delta trading for RBS’s global banking and marketing division in Singapore, said in his complaint that the bank failed to detail the allegations against him and didn’t specify how he had improperly influenced rate setters.
It was his responsibility to provide input to the bank’s rate setters and it was common practice for other bank employees to make requests of them, Tan said in the lawsuit.
Libor rates, a benchmark for more than $350 trillion of financial products worldwide, are based on data from banks reflecting how much it would cost them to borrow from each other for various periods of time in currencies including dollars, euros and yen. The rates are compiled daily by Thomson Reuters Corp. for the British Bankers’ Association.
The delta trading desks at investment banks handle trades for clients, typically helping them to speculate on, or hedge the performance of, a basket of securities.
The case is Tan Chi Min v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc S939/2011 in the Singapore High Court.
--With assistance from Andrea Tan in Singapore and Douglas Wong in Hong Kong. Editors: Douglas Wong, Joe Schneider
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