The whistleblower’s name is being kept secret, but according to the Wall Street Journal, it is a former employee of Deutsche Bank. The fact that the reward is so high has to do with the fact that sky-high fines have been handed out to several banks in connection with the scandal. The whistleblower receives a percentage from the fine.
The Libor scandal played out between 2008 and 2013. International interest rates were manipulated in the case. The Libor, in full the London interbank offered rate, is the interest that banks charge each other if they want to borrow money from each other. It is also the basis of trillions of euros in other loans, such as mortgages and loans, and also for interest on savings.
The whistleblower gave a crucial tip about the case where bankers manipulated interest rates. Bankers who set the rates passed information on to colleagues on the trading floor, who took advantage of that knowledge in their investments.
Several banks were fined with sky-high fines after investigation. These included Swiss bank UBS, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.
Rabobank was also involved in the tampering with the Libor rate. In 2013, the bank was fined EUR 774 million for this by American and European regulators.
A total of around 9 billion in fines was handed out and several bankers were convicted. Former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes was jailed for 14 years because of the scandal.