Hayes judge concludes his summing-up; jury retires

Judge finishes summing up Tom Hayes Libor trial

Southwark Crown Court: venue for the Tom Hayes Libor trial

The Tom Hayes Libor trial, which has spanned almost 10 weeks, reached finalities today (July 27) as judge Jeremy Cooke concluded his summing-up of the proceedings and the jury retired to begin their deliberations.

Hayes has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of conspiracy to defraud, in which the prosecution alleges that between 2006 and 2010 he was the leader in a scheme to manipulate the Japanese yen London interbank offered rate (Libor) in favour of his trading book.

Hayes has argued that the practice of attempting to influence Libor submitters was widespread and because his senior managers were well aware of his tactics and never reprimanded him he did not know what he was doing was wrong.

Cooke repeated for the jury today the concept of "range", which was used as part of Hayes's defence. The former trader has told the court that he always asked his contacts for "acceptable" submissions so the requests would "not look completely unrealistic" or "not have a chance of being met".

Cooke told the jury that it is up to them how much weight they put on the concept of range during their deliberations.

"None of Mr Hayes's requests mentioned the range," he reminded them, adding that Hayes had told the court that such a notion was implied.

During the trial Hayes has distanced himself from the widespread "low-balling" that took place during the financial crisis, where many leading banks around the world adapted their Libor submissions – which are supposed to reflect the rate at which they could borrow cash – by up to 20 basis points in order to seem financially healthier than they really were. Hayes maintains that his requests only concerned a few basis points.

"Some requests were made with specific figures," said Cooke today. "Some were highs and lows. And some were made well in advance" of the fix.

He pointed to what the prosecution has called "the turn campaign" in which Hayes and others agreed on a strategic plan to influence the yen Libor periodically leading up to a certain date much later in the year. The prosecution has said that this should indicate Hayes's "dishonest" intent because he could not have known what an acceptable Libor would be that far ahead.

The judge also took the jury through some more administrative directions in regards to their deliberations.

"There is no pressure on you for the time it takes [for you to come to a decision]," he said.

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