UBS Said to Apply for Immunity in Libor Probe, Suspend Traders

UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, sought immunity from prosecution by Canadian regulators probing a potential conspiracy to rig the price of derivatives globally, three people with knowledge of the inquiry said.

The lender is the cooperating party referred to by Canada’s Competition Bureau in court papers filed by the regulator with the Ontario Superior Court in May, said the people, who declined to be identified because the identity of the firm hasn’t been made public.

The papers, shown this week to Bloomberg News by court clerks, indicate a bank told the regulator that traders and cash brokers conspired to influence the Yen London interbank offered rate from 2007 to 2010 to profit on interest-rate derivatives linked to the benchmark. Regulators worldwide are investigating whether banks attempted to manipulate the London, Tokyo and euro interbank offered rates, known as Libor, Tibor and Euribor.

UBS has also suspended a number of employees including Yvan Ducrot, co-head of rates, and Holger Seger, global head of short-term interest rates trading, as part of an investigation of its rate submissions, said a person briefed on the matter who declined to be identified because the decision is private.

The bank has already been given conditional immunity by the Swiss Competition Commission as part of an investigation into suspected manipulation of the Yen Libor, Tibor and Swiss franc Libor rates. The Zurich-based lender was granted similar immunity by the U.S. Department of Justice last year as part of its probes of Yen Libor and Euroyen Tibor rates.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek