RATE CASE: Britain's Serious Fraud Office has charged a former trader at UBS and Citigroup with conspiracy to defraud in the rigging of a benchmark interest rate.
THE ACCUSATION: The UK's official financial crimes investigator says Tom Hayes was charged Tuesday as part of the investigation into the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR. Hayes specialized in products pegged to yen-dominated Libor and worked in offices in London and Tokyo. He gets a chance to enter a plea later.
THE BACKGROUND: LIBOR is the critical rate banks use to borrow from each other. It indirectly affects the cost people pay when they take out loans such as to buy a home or car. U.S. and British regulators have fined two big British banks and Switzerland's largest lender hundreds of millions of dollars for manipulating LIBOR.