Rogue Trader Lied To Protect UBS During Scandal, He Says

The so-called “rogue trader” arrested last year for massive $2.3 billion trading losses now says that he initially lied to protect UBS from the fallout that came after the scandal, claiming that the bank was well aware of the risky bets but looked the other way as long as profit resulted.

The rogue trader who now says he lied about the UBS losses is 32-year-old Kweku Adoboli, and Adoboli is in the midst of a lengthy trial on four counts of false accounting and two of fraud by abuse of position. The rogue trader claims he lied about the nature of the loss to shield his employer and colleagues in the wake of the scandal, expecting only to lose his job after the loss was made public.

Adoboli’s September 15, 2011 arrest stemmed from an email in which the rogue trader says he lied about the trades, an email he now says was sent to cover up UBS’ complicity in the actions that led to the $2.3 billion loss. He explained:

“I was trying to protect everybody, not just the desk, not just the senior guys, but also the back office … I didn’t think this amounted to a crime, so there would be no need to call lawyers or the police.”


Adoboli says he expected that the email would provide “deniability” to UBS higher-ups in the wake of the scandal, allowing them to escape culpability for prohibited practices:

“I had to give them a get-out … By saying what I did say, I was able to give them this level of deniability.”

After the rogue trader’s arrest, he remained in jail for nine months until he was granted bail in June.