£1.4bn fraud UBS trader is jailed
Published 20/11/2012 | 11:52
A City trader who gambled away £1.4 billion in the UK's biggest banking fraud has been jailed for seven years in a "spectacular" fall from grace.
Kweku Adoboli brought Swiss bank UBS to its knees by exceeding his trading limits and failing to mitigate the risk of reckless deals.
At one point the 32-year-old was on the verge of causing losses of 12 billion US dollars (£7.5 billion), and the hole he eventually left was the largest trading loss ever in British banking history.
Jurors at Southwark Crown Court found him guilty of two counts of fraud, but cleared him of four counts of false accounting.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Keith told him: "Whatever the verdict of the jury you would forever have been known as the man responsible for the largest trading loss in British banking history."
Former public school boy Adoboli wiped away tears as he sat in the dock, following his nine-week trial.
He admitted the enormous losses but claimed he was pressured by staff to take risks, culminating in a catastrophe that wiped £2.8 billion off the bank's share value.
Mr Justice Keith said: "The tragedy for you is that you had everything going for you. Your father was in a responsible position which enabled you to be educated at a private school. I'm not saying you came from a privileged background, but you had some advantages others did not and you had your natural talents... Your fall from grace as a result of these convictions is spectacular."
He added that there were no other realistic verdicts open to the jury on the fraud charges apart from guilty.
But he was sceptical that his acquittal on the four charges of false accounting meant he was innocent, only that the jury had doubts over whether he planned to gain financially himself. He told the disgraced trader they "remain part of the picture of what your fraudulent trading involved".