UBS Trader Accused Of 'Fantastical Suggestion'

Hands Over Eyes

UBS didn’t turn 'a blind eye' as former trader Kweku Adoboli exceeded risk limits and booked fake hedges to hide the exposure, the prosecution said.

It is 'a fantastical suggestion' that the bank and its management knew and approved of Adoboli exceeding risk limits, prosecutor Sasha Wass told the London jury in closing arguments Thursday. Adoboli is on trial accused of causing a $2.3bn unauthorized trading loss.

'Does it make any sense at all that Switzerland’s largest bank lets one of its traders gamble $12bn ?' Wass said. 'This was in a period of great volatility. The message that was coming from the upper management is ‘Keep the delta flat. No risk, please''.

Bloomberg reports that part of Adoboli’s defense rests on his claim that his managers pressured him to take on more risk and overlooked that the profits the desk generated didn’t match its reported risk profile. He also testified that his actions weren’t dishonest because others at the bank knew of an internal account where he held profits to cover future costs of the exchange-traded fund desk where he worked.

'It was his off-book, unhedged and concealed trades that caused the loss of $2.3bn', Wass said during her closing speech in the long-running case.

'It was by any standard of the imagination a huge loss, the largest trading loss in UK banking history'.

Reuters reports that the prosecution say Adoboli traded far in excess of his risk limits, concealed his positions by booking fictitious hedges into the accounts and lied to the UBS back office when asked about his trades.

'His reputation as a trader was built on those lies. He had been awarded promotions, pay rises and bonuses on the back of those lies. The City banker, the star trader, was a lie, a fiction, based on a complete fantasy, an accounting fabrication', said Wass.

UBS Didn’t Turn ‘Blind Eye’ to Adoboli, Prosecutor Says

Adoboli made UK's largest trading loss - prosecutor

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