Verdict due in trial of Whitechapel ‘rogue trader’
15:14 14 November 2012
A Whitechapel city trader accused of gambling away £1.4 billion is awaiting his fate, after jurors in his trial retired today.
Kweku Adoboli, 32, of Clark Street, denies two counts of fraud and four counts of false accounting between October 2008 and September 2011. It allegedly wiped £2.8 billion off the Swiss bank’s share value.
Over an eight-week trial at Southwark Crown Court, prosecutors have claimed that in a bid to boost his status and bonuses Adoboli exceeded his trading limits and failed to hedge trades, faking records to cover his tracks.
But he denies any wrongdoing, and claims he was pressured by senior managers to take risks.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC told jurors that he was “a gamble or two away from destroying Switzerland’s largest bank for his own gain”.
She said: “He did all of this by exceeding his trading limits, by inventing fictitious deals to conceal this and then he lied to his bosses.
“Mr Adoboli’s motive for this behaviour was to increase his bonus, his status within the bank, his job prospects and of course his ego.
“Like most gamblers, he believed he had the magic touch. Like most gamblers, when he lost, he caused chaos and disaster to himself and all of those around him.”
At one point he was at risk of causing the bank losses of $12 billion (£7.5 billion).
But the former public schoolboy told jurors that everything he had done was aimed to benefit the bank, where he viewed his colleagues as family.
Adoboli worked for UBS’s global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds (ETFs), which track different types of stocks, bonds or commodities such as metals.