Business World

Monday 18 December 2017

Rogue trader 'sorry beyond words'

Tom Morgan in London

The alleged rogue trader accused of gambling away a record £1.5bn (€1.7bn) is "sorry beyond words", a court heard yesterday.

Kweku Adoboli (31) faces a second count of fraud in addition to two charges of false accounting over three years at Swiss banking giant UBS, City of London Magistrates' Court heard.

As he was remanded in custody until October 20, defence barrister Patrick Gibbs said: "He is sorry beyond words for what has happened. He went to UBS and told them what he had done and stands here appalled at the consequences of his disastrous miscalculations."

Mr Adoboli, who appeared in the dock in a tailored grey suit with navy blue tie, gave no indication of how he will plead during a 10-minute appearance.

He put his hand on his heart and nodded to the public gallery as he took to his feet to confirm his name and address.

David Levy, for the prosecution, said Mr Adoboli now faces two charges of fraud.

The new fraud offence was alleged to have taken place between October 1, 2008, and December 31, 2010.

After the hearing, Alison Gowman, the chief magistrate, said Mr Adoboli would appear at the same court on October 20 for a committal hearing.

Prosecutors allege he gambled away the cash while working at UBS's global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds, which track different types of stocks, bonds or commodities such as metals.

Mr Adoboli, from Clark Street, east London, has made no application for bail.

The primary fraud offence allegedly took place between January 1 and September 14 this year.

Mr Adoboli, the son of a former Ghanaian official to the UN, joined the bank in a junior capacity in 2002. The fraud charge against him reads: "While occupying a position, namely being a senior trader with Global Synthetic Equities, in which you were expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of UBS Bank, you dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make a gain for yourself, causing losses to UBS or to expose UBS to risk of loss."

The two accusations of false accounting -- which date back to 2008 -- claim that he "falsified a record, namely an exchange traded fund transaction".

After Mr Adoboli's first appearance in court, UBS revised upwards the cost of the alleged rogue trading to US$2.3bn (€1.7bn) after previously saying it had cost it in the range of $2bn (€1.5bn).

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

Irish Independent

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