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News Summary: Trader charged in Libor rate case

The Associated Press

FILE - The financial center of Canary Wharf just outside the boundary of the City of London is seen through the Thames Barrier at night on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. The low-lying city has long been vulnerable to flooding - particularly when powerful storms send seawater racing up the River Thames. But the 570-yard-long (half-a-kilometer-long) barrier, composed of 10 massive steel gates, each five stories high when raised against high water, has been in operation since 1982. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

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.