Whitechapel ‘rogue trader’ guilty of UK’s biggest bank fraud

11:36 20 November 2012

Adoboli was on trial at Southwark Crown Court. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Adoboli was on trial at Southwark Crown Court. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

A Whitechapel city trader accused of gambling away £1.4 billion of UBS’s money has been convicted of two counts of fraud.

"This was the UK’s biggest fraud, committed by one of the most sophisticated fraudsters the City of London Police has ever come across."

DCI Perry Stokes, City of London Police

Kweku Adoboli, 32, who was on trial at Southwark Crown Court, was cleared of four remaining charges of false accounting between October 2008 and September 2011.

At one point the rising star, of Clark Street, stood to run up losses of $12billion (£7.5 billion) for UBS.

The Ghanaian-born former public schoolboy exceeded his multi million-pound trading limits and failed to hedge trades, allegedly faking records to cover his tracks at the Swiss bank’s London office.

He admitted the losses but claimed that he was pressured by staff to take risks, culminating in bad deals which wiped £2.8 billion off the bank’s share value when they were discovered.

Trial judge Mr Justice Keith gave the jury a majority verdict direction this morning, saying they could deliver a 9-1 verdict on the remaining five charges.

The jury has been reduced to five men and five women after two jurors were discharged.

Adoboli joined UBS as a graduate trainee in 2003 and, at the time of the fraud, worked for its global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds (ETFs), which track different types of stocks, bonds or commodities such as metals.

The prosecution argued that he was a gambler who believed he had the “magic touch”.

But, giving evidence, he said everything he had done was aimed at benefiting the bank, where he viewed his colleagues as “family”.

Adoboli claimed he had “lost control in the maelstrom of the financial crisis”, and was doing well until he changed from a conservative “bearish” position to an aggressive “bullish” stance under pressure from senior managers.

Detective Chief Inspector Perry Stokes, from the City of London Police, which investigated Adoboli, said: “This was the UK’s biggest fraud, committed by one of the most sophisticated fraudsters the City of London Police has ever come across.

“To all those around him, Kweku Adoboli appeared to be a man on the make whose career prospects and future earnings were taking off.

“He worked hard, looked the part and seemingly had an answer for everything.

“But behind this facade lay a trader who was running completely out of control and exposing UBS to huge financial risks on a daily basis.

“Rules put in place to protect the bank’s position and the integrity of the markets were being bypassed and broken by a young man who wanted it all and was not willing to wait.

“When Adoboli’s pyramid of fictitious trades, exceeded trading limits and non-existent hedging came crashing down, the repercussions were felt in financial centres around the world.

“Now, just a year on, he is facing the reality that he was not above the law and will be made to pay for his crimes.

“Others who tread a similar path to his can expect the same fate.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest Crime news

Monday, November 30, 2015
Brian Reader, 76, has pleaded guilty to his part in Britain's biggest robbery  (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The oldest man involved in the notorious Hatton Garden jewel heist used a freedom pass that belonged to someone else on his way to commit England’s biggest burglary, a court heard.

Monday, November 30, 2015
Do you know this man? Text British Transport Police on 61016 quoting T-SUB/B4 of 30/11/15

Police are searching for a man who groped a woman at London Bridge underground station - then made his getaway via Waterloo.

Monday, November 30, 2015
Evidence for the trial

A woman from Crouch Hill has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping dogs in cages stacked on top of each other nearly every day.

Monday, November 30, 2015
Police tape

Two people were arrested in Dalston suspected of playing a role in a people-smuggling ring bringing Albanians into the country.

Monday, November 30, 2015
Do you recognise these men? (Picture: British Transport Police)

A commuter got a broken nose, cuts and bruises when two men beat him up in a ‘shocking and frightening’ assault at Wimbledon Station. The victim had tried to help when he heard one of the attackers threaten a woman, police said.

Sunday, November 29, 2015
Police want to talk to this man over an attempted arson at Finsbury Park Mosque

Police are hunting a moped rider suspected of trying to set Finsbury Park Mosque on fire in what is being treated as a “hate crime”.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

Latest Tech News