By Holly Watt 7:48AM BST 29 Jun 2012
Royal Bank of Scotland was asked by Brevan Howard, a hedge fund, to fix financial data used to set interest rates, the papers say. The fund donated £10,000 to the Tories and spent £3,542 on flights for George Osborne, the Chancellor, to attend a conference in 2008.
In court papers filed as part of a class action in New York, a former RBS trader called Tan Chi Min claims that staff “took requests from clients (such as Brevan Howard) in relation to the fixing of Libor”. RBS say they sacked the trader and are confident they can defend the claims.
In June 2008, Brevan Howard Asset Management flew Mr Osborne, then shadow chancellor, from New York to Vail, Colorado to attend the American Enterprise Institute World Forum.
Alan Howard, Brevan Howard’s cofounder, is a significant donor to Conservative funds and personally paid for Mr Osborne’s flight from New York to Vail then on to Chicago the year before.
He is estimated to have made around £1.4billion through his hedge fund. In 2010, he announced that he would move to Geneva, a tax haven. He has donated £19,500 to Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, and £5,000 to William Hague, the Foreign Secretary. The fund failed to respond to requests for a comment.
Michael Spencer, a former Tory treasurer who has given the party and various of its MPs more than £300,000, heads ICAP, an interdealer broker. Since the Libor crisis began, Icap has suspended one employee and put two on leave.
It has said it is “co–operating fully” with authorities. Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays, also has close ties to the party. It was claimed that he landed the Prime Minister’s chartered Virgin plane as it returned from Africa last year. Barclays and Virgin denied the claim but admitted he was in the cockpit.