Nick Leeson - Did You Know ?

Nick Leeson

Nick Leeson was the rogue trader who broke Barings, a 233 year-old British bank. Here are some interesting facts about Leeson and the affair.

Barings collapsed after Leeson's trading activities created a hole of $1.3bn. Dutch bank ING bought the bank for £1 and took on its liabilities.

The British bank made a big mistake as it allowed Leeson to trade and also to help settle trades. This enabled him to hide his losses. He claims that he was not really a criminal - although he was covering up, he was trying to gain time to trade out of his problems. He did not get anything out of the affair, other then big bonuses when his bosses thought he was bringing in the bacon.

He legged it from Singapore, the place where he got himself into trading trouble, just before his 28th birthday in 1995 and was eventually arrested in Frankfurt days later with his wife in tow.

Extradicted to Singapore, he pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. In jail, he started to exercise and is thought to have found 'God'.

His wife left him while he was in clink. She subsequently married another trader. Leeson was diagnosed with Colon cancer, a disease that killed his mother.

He wrote a book, 'Rogue Trader', which was subsequently filmed, and he is now a celebrity speaker on the after-dinner circuit. He talks openly about what happened at Barings, his time in prison and his battle with cancer.

Nick now resides in Barna, Galway, with his second wife. Along with his after-dinner speaking responsibilities, he is marketing director of League of Ireland football club Galway United.

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