A former Deutsche Bank employee who blew the whistle about Libor-rigging has been handed a record-breaking reward of almost $200m (£145m) by a US regulator.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said the payment had been made for “specific, credible and timely original information” that “significantly contributed” to investigations by the authorities in the US and UK.
It did not name the whistleblower or the company involved, but it has been reported that the record sum went to a former employee of the German bank. It is understood to be linked to the $2.5bn fine Deutsche paid to US authorities in 2015.
The US derivatives regulator added that the information provided by the whistleblower led to a “successful enforcement action, as well as to the success of two related actions, by a US federal regulator and a foreign regulator”.
Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, has been used since the 1980s as a benchmark for lending between banks.
However, the rate was tainted in 2012, when traders were found to be fixing it. The scandal resulted in around $9bn of global fines for some of the world’s biggest banks.
The City watchdog is in the process of phasing out Libor.
US law firm Kirby McInerney confirmed that one of its clients had secured the record bounty after providing extensive information and documents in 2012 that “catalysed” investigations by the CFTC and a foreign regulator into benchmark manipulation.
David Kovel, the whisleblower’s lawyer from Kirby McInerney, said: “The whistleblower award amount may seem shocking but it’s because the ability to manipulate and make huge profits is shocking. It follows from the misconduct.”
Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale were among the firms that reached settlements with the CFTC and other agencies over the Libor rigging scandal.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment.