Sentencing him at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Mr Justice Cooke said: “What this case has shown is the absence of that integrity which ought to characterise banking”.
The scruffy, blond-haired Hayes has been the public face of the global scandal over Libor rigging since he was first charged by U.S. officials in 2012.
The defence argued that Hayes had never been trained in the Libor process and had no regulatory or compliance obligations imposed on him regarding the reference rate, and therefore he did not think that what he was doing was wrong.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Hayes’s lawyers had figured that, if convicted, he would probably be sentenced to four or five years in jail. Hayes would then place large bets on financial markets that were sensitive to Libor shifts.
After the judge finished his remarks, the guard took Mr. Hayes, toting a blue-green duffle bag packed with his clothes and other belongings, into custody.
Dubbed the “Rain Man” by his colleagues, because of his superhero bedding and penchant for hot chocolate, he was found guilty of manipulating the benchmark known as the LIBOR rate.
“Although I was operating within a system or participating within a system in which it was commonplace, you know, ultimately I was someone who was a serial offender”.
He told investigators after his arrest in December 2012: “You want every little bit of money you can possibly get”.
Alleged rigging is said to have involved the submission of false figures in order either to make more money or to paint a false picture of a bank’s health.
Mukul Chawla QC, prosecuting, said: “On an nearly daily basis he set out to dishonestly manipulate or rig Libor at his bank and other banks”.
Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, told me in a recent Sky News interview that he was frequently asked by members of the public why more bankers had not been sent to prison following the crisis.
He denied that what he was doing was “clandestine” and said that he made no attempts to “cover his tracks”, even posting on Facebook about his Libor related trades.
From 2001 to 2004 he worked for Royal Bank of Scotland, before moving to Royal Bank of Canada for two years.
“The motive was a simple one: it was greed”.
The verdict opens the door to more prosecutions across the City, which could take years to bring to trial. He joined Citigroup in late 2009, but was fired in September 2010 for Libor manipulation. It was there, the court heard, that his Libor-rigging education began by “osmosis – picking it up from the people he sat next to”.