Thursday 23 March 2017

City trader denies gambling £1.5bn in Britain's biggest banking fraud

CITY trader Kweku Adoboli today denied gambling away a record £1.5bn (€1.8bn) in Britain's biggest banking fraud.

Mr Adoboli, 31, east London, will go on trial accused of losing the cash while working for Swiss banking giant UBS.

He spoke only to enter not guilty pleas to two counts of fraud and two counts of false accounting as he appeared in the dock at Southwark Crown Court.

Adoboli, wearing a tailored grey suit and dark blue tie, sat forward in his seat and took notes as pre-trial arrangements were made.

He said "Thank you, your honour" as Judge Alistair McCreath set a provisional trial date of September 3.

"I remand you in custody," the judge told Adoboli. "I or some other judge will hear some application for bail."

A pre-trial management hearing will take place on April 9.

Adoboli worked for UBS's global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds, which track different types of stocks, bonds or commodities such as metals.

He is accused of dishonestly using his position to try to make a personal gain, and causing UBS losses or exposing the bank to the risk of loss.

City watchdog the Financial Services Authority and its Swiss counterpart have launched an investigation into why UBS failed to spot allegedly fraudulent trading.

Charges relate to the period between October 2008 and last September.

Prosecutors allege he gambled away the cash while buying and selling exchange traded funds.

Adoboli has hired London law firm Bark & Co, which specialises in fraud cases, and is represented by Paul Garlic QC.

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