UBS has confirmed that its head of swap trading, Jay V. Merchant, has left the bank, amid reports that he is under investigation for the possible manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) that saw Barclays settle for a record fine of £290m with US and UK regulators.
However, a UBS spokesperson would not comment to the IBTimes UK as to whether Merchant, who reportedly worked for Barclays in New York from 2006 to 2009, exited the bank on Libor investigation related matters.
According to a number of media reports citing industry records, "Merchant began working for Barclays in 1998 and remained with the British bank until the end of 2009, after which he went to head a swaps trading desk for UBS in Stamford, Connecticut."
"Records maintained by UK securities regulators also show that Merchant was registered as working in Britain from 2001 through parts of 2007," said Reuters. Attempts by the IBTimes UK to contact Merchant's legal counsel in the United States were not immediately successful.
The news of Merchant's departure follows a Reuters report that another former Barclays trader, Ryan Reich, "has cooperated with the federal criminal probe into the alleged rigging of international benchmark interest rates. Merchant was one of Reich's supervising traders at Barclays."
Growing Line of Exits
Merchant's exit follows a long line of named and unnamed individuals that are departing or being suspended from their posts at various banks, in the wake of the Libor rigging scandal.
Earlier this month, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) suspended a third London-based banker, allegedly in connection to investigations related to alleged manipulation of Libor.
A spokesperson for BTMU confirmed to IBTimes UK: "One London-based banker has been suspended" but declined to confirm whether it was in connection to the ongoing Libor probe.
According to media reports and an IBTimes UK source, the banker was suspended in relation to Libor and was in charge of submitting Libor rates. The banker was believed to be facing questions by the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA), another unnamed source told Reuters.
While many reports declined to name individuals and banks, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole have suspended or fired traders.
At RBS, senior staff conspired to fix the key interest rate between at least 2007 to 2011, said a former head trader in a court filing.
In papers filed in New York and with the Singapore High Court, Tan Chi Min, the former head of delta trading for RBS's global banking and markets division in Singapore, alleged that managers condoned staff setting the Libor rate artificially high or low to maximise profits.
Tan was sacked for gross misconduct in November 2011. He claimed he was made a scapegoat for malpractice condoned by managers.
He issuing for wrongful dismissal and has named five staff members he alleges made requests for Libor to be altered. Three senior managers knew the situation while the practice "was known to other members of [RBS]'s senior management", he said.
According to media reports, traders at five banks are under investigation for interest-rate manipulation as part of a global probe of Europe's central banks. Regulators have accelerated efforts to address the way the Libor is calculated and investigate most banks, not just Barclays.
Philippe Moryoussef has left his derivatives trading post in Singapore with Nomura as he is also under investigation for the time he period he spent working for Barclays from 2005-07.
A spokesperson at Nomura told IBTimes UK: "Nomura is aware of the investigation into the setting of Euribor and Libor. The allegations against Mr Moryoussef are related to a period of time before he joined Nomura. We would point out that Nomura is not a member of either the Euribor panel or the Libor panel, and therefore has no role in the setting of those rates."
Citing unnamed sources and with no confirmation or comment from the people or the banks, reports said that regulators were also investigating the possible roles of Michael Zrihen at Credit Agricole, Didier Sander at HSBC and Christian Bittar at Deutsche Bank.
SG has confirmed that it has been contacted as part of a broad probe into the alleged manipulation of interbank lending rates but there has so far been no allegation of wrongdoing against the French bank.