Simon Taylor, a former UBS trader, told a U.K. jury Wednesday that he didn’t attend a secret meeting with his co-worker Kweku Adoboli at a bar last year to decide who should take the blame for mounting losses from unauthorized trades.
Bloomberg reports that Taylor, testifying at Adoboli’s trial in London, denied a claim by Adoboli’s lawyer that he met with Adoboli and two other traders on UBS’s exchange-traded funds desk at an All Bar One restaurant near the bank’s office on September 12th, 2011. Adoboli’s lawyer said the meeting was to discuss whether Adoboli would take the blame alone, or if they should do so together.
'By late August, you were fully aware of the state of play', said the lawyer, Charles Sherrard, referring to losses building in a secret account allegedly used by the team to hold profit from the trades. 'The three of you jumped at the chance' to let Adoboli 'fall on his sword'.
Sherrard showed Taylor a print-out of the entry and exit records of UBS’s London office indicating he and Adoboli left after the financial markets closed on the day of the alleged meeting, and returned together about an hour later. Taylor said he didn’t remember what he did during that time, and may have come back with Adoboli because he 'bumped into him' outside.
In the meantime, The Financial Times reports that Taylor also indicated that private spread betting was common among traders at UBS at the time when Adoboli lost £123,000 on his personal trading account.
Taylor is said to have told KPMG, the auditor firm that on behalf of the Swiss and UK regulators investigated the bank’s trading loss in September last year, that a number of traders (both at UBS and within the City generally) had personal accounts with spread betting firms.
Adoboli, 32, was arrested on September 15, 2011 and is now on trial for fraud and false accounting that cost UBS $2.3bn. He has pleaded not guilty.
The trial continues.