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The ex-UBS trader fighting his Libor-rigging conviction

Tom Hayes: I'd come back to finance, but not for a bank

Tom Hayes, the former UBS superstar trader who was jailed in 2015 for 11 years, has had the charges against him dismissed by the United States Court of Appeals.

He was charged in both the US and UK of rigging Libor rates, and was the first of 38 people to be prosecuted for malpractice.

He was previously noted to have been working at an intelligence firm, but he tells us this job is strictly part-time. “It’s a full-time job fighting this," he said.

Speaking to eFinancialCareers, he called the decision in the US “monumental”, and said that his first priority would be to be “vindicated” in the US and UK.

He is appealing the decision made by the UK court that resulted in him sentenced to spending over a decade in prison. He called the sentencing of traders “political decisions, as opposed to legal decisions.”

Hayes pointed to the disparity in how the UK treated bankers compared to other countries, and noted that in some instances, in Germany, employment courts had even forced banks to reinstate fired bankers.

He noted also that it was ultimately a big question mark for the UK to be jailing financiers for what isn’t treated as a crime in France, Germany, or the US.

His lawyers had told him that “there has never been a bigger divergence in law between the US and UK… How can that dichotomy last?”

The burdens of the five and a half years he spent in prison, before his parole release, were huge. Hayes names his relationships with his family first before the pressure on his physical and mental health. “But I haven’t stopped fighting – and I won’t stop fighting,” he says.

Would he go back to trading? “No, not really. I’d love to come back, but not in the capacity I was in before, working for a bank.” He says he has some contacts that he could “potentially manage some money for,” but notes that, at the moment, he's barred from the industry.

The FCA’s attempt to ban him for life from working in the industry is also under appeal due to his ongoing criminal case, with the appeal – by his estimation – due to be heard sometime next year.

Even so, the scars of what happened would never close. “Even the people who were acquitted had their lives ruined, and their careers ruined,” he said.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon
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