EVENT: Corporate Members' Seminar on Libor and Benchmarks

Date: 19th September, 2018 Time: 03:30 pm - 05:30 pm
Corporate Members' Seminar on Libor and Benchmarks

On 19 September, we held a seminar for our Corporate Members on the recent Libor scandal and the development of new benchmarks to replace it.

The event was hosted by Janes Solicitors and Arab Financial Forum and was attended by senior staff from some of London's leading law firms, as well as the ABA Corporate Members.

Seminars such as these are part of a programme of specialised events that we offer only to Corporate Members, enabling them to discuss technical subjects with leading industry specialists. 

The attached photograph shows Philip Hackett, Victoria Gregory and Colin Goodman from Janes Solicitors. 

The seminar was held under the Chatham House Rule to facilitate frank discussion but Victoria Gregory of Janes Solicitors has provided the following precis of the discussion:

Janes Solicitors and the Arab Financial Forum were very pleased to present a frank and first hand account to the Arab Bankers Association with guest speakers Philip Hackett QC, one of the UK’s leading financial regulation silks, and Colin Goodman, Lord Libor himself setting out some inconvenient truths about the banking establishment and the system of regulation.

In one of the greatest scandals of the financial crisis the biggest global financial institutions paid billions in penalties for manipulating LIBOR, the rate underpinning trillions of derivatives, but a subsequent trial acquitted all the accused interbank brokers, how on earth could this happen?

Lord Libor shared his personal experience about what it was like to be under investigation and on trial for allegations of manipulation and then being acquitted by a jury in four hours.  He talked about his role as an exceptional broker at ICAP for over 30 years, doing the job he was so good at that 12 global banks would follow his LIBOR ‘run thru’ predictions. 

Philip Hackett QC reviewed the history of LIBOR and its global significance, the subsequent market crash and manipulation revelations, which were investigated first by the Financial Conduct Authority and then prosecuted, unsuccessfully in this case, by the Serious Fraud Office.  Philip highlighted systematic failures and a fundamental lack of understanding in what amounted to an amusing but deeply disconcerting ‘how not to prosecute’ review of the various rate fixing trials.  

Both speakers considered questions from the floor about how the alleged manipulations could ever have happened to a global benchmark of such significance and importance raising concerns of conflict and a serious breakdown in regulation, and whether this could ever happened again as well as reviewing the implementation and operation of SONIA and other global benchmarks such as SOFR and SARON.

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