Bloomberg reports that Adoboli, 32, said he first booked a so-called holding trade in late 2008 in order to take another off his desk’s book to hide the risk, he testified yesterday as he took the stand for the first time in his fraud trial.
'I had seen traders in my peer group and traders more senior than me either hold positions off-book by not booking them as soon as they did the trade, or by booking a covering trade to take them beyond the first day or two', Adoboli said during testimony that lasted about four hours. 'I don’t believe that what we were doing was illegitimate'.
Adoboli is accused of booking fake hedges to hide the risk of trades, causing the Swiss bank a $2.3bn loss. He was charged in September of last year with two counts each of fraud and false accounting and yesterday prosecutors added two more false accounting charges tied to his so-called umbrella account. He has pleaded not guilty.
In the meantime, Reuters reports that, addressing the court for the first time in his long-running trial in London Friday, Adoboli said he had no reason to believe he was doing anything wrong since he was doing it to generate profits and colleagues knew about it.
'UBS was my family and every single thing I did, every single bit of effort I put into that organisation, was for the benefit of the bank', said Adoboli, his voice breaking as he wept and thumped the witness box with his hand.
'That is everything I lived for ... To find yourself in Wandsworth Prison for nine months because all you did was worked so hard for this bank', he said through tears.
image: © Steve Punter