The Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir Philip Hampton has said that Libor riggers should go to prison, even though six traders involved in the manipulation of some of the world's most important interbank lending rates still work at the bank.
Following RBS' settlement with US and UK authorities for a £390m ($612m/€451m) fine, and plea of guilty to one criminal charge from its Japanese subsidiary, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department of Justice and the UK's Financial Services Authority printed the transcripts that "uncovered wrongdoing on the part of 21 RBS employees, predominantly in relation to the setting of the bank's Yen and Swiss Franc Libor submissions.
"If people break the law they should face the full weight of the criminal justice system. We have already seen traders at other banks arrested over Libor manipulation and I expect we will see more. That is how it should be. If people don't end up in prison over this scandal I worry it will further perpetuate the sense that there is one rule for the financial system and another set of rules for the rest of society," says Hampton in an online Guardian newspaper Q&A session.
"That's dangerous and it's wrong. In the case of former RBS traders the authorities now have plenty of evidence to look at and I expect they will be doing just that. If we can help them, we will," he adds.
Hampton confirmed on Thursday at a press conference that 14 of these traders have been dismissed. However a source close to the bank told IBTimes UK that six individuals involved remain employed by the bank and are being "severely disciplined or are going through a disciplinary process."
Hampton defended himself and CEO Stephen Hester for staying at the bank despite the ousting of the bank's investment chief, John Hourican, who will leave next month.
He said they were both there to "clean up" the culture at the bank.
"I am the chairman and the buck stops with me. There is no doubt that mistakes have occurred on my watch and of course I regret that. In addition to the major physical restructuring of the bank - perhaps the biggest turnaround of its kind in the world - Stephen Hester and I certainly knew that cleaning up the culture of RBS needed to be a priority," says Hampton.
"My view is that it's easy to come up with flashy statements on culture and whipping bankers into shape, but much harder to make the thousands of little changes that will be required to make a real difference. Culture change doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and it requires in many cases quite a lot of new people, but I'm satisfied that RBS is changing quite fundamentally," he adds.