The conviction of Tom Hayes in the first UK LIBOR trial (click here to read more) is a watershed moment. It’s a big win for the SFO, although it must be said that a more damning book of evidence could not be imagined. The judge’s sentencing remarks (link to judiciary.gov.uk) repay detailed study. Hayes received 14 years, one of the heaviest sentences on record for this offence. The judge’s summary reads like a case-study of how an accused should not behave, both before and after they are accused.

We will have more to say on this and similar cases in due course. For now it suffices to say that the huge profile of the trial and the very heavy sentence mean that a clear message is going to the dealing rooms and the C-suites of the City of London: Fraud is fraud. Financial professionals don’t get special treatment. Clever people who try to “play” the judicial system like they did the markets risk total disaster.