Ex-trader in court over $2bn Swiss bank loss
THE HIGH-PROFILE trial of the former UBS trader accused of causing the largest unauthorised trading loss in British history got under way yesterday with the selection of the jury.
Kweku Adoboli, who has pleaded not guilty to unauthorised trading following revelations of a $2.25 billion loss at Switzerland’s largest bank by assets almost exactly one year ago, seemed relaxed as he arrived at Southwark Crown Court with his legal team.
The 32-year-old has denied two charges of fraud and two of false accounting, which relate to periods between October 2008 and September 2011.
Mr Adoboli, a Nottingham University graduate, worked for UBS’s global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds. He was arrested on September 15th last, the day UBS announced it had “discovered a loss due to unauthorised trading”.
The huge losses at issue in the case were a serious blow for UBS when it was trying to recover from near collapse during the financial crisis in 2008. In the aftermath, the bank made major changes in staff and strategy.
Mr Adoboli remained in custody until early June, when he was released on bail. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in jail.
His trial is due to take place over the next eight weeks. Yesterday was taken up with administrative matters and jury selection.
Dressed in a grey suit and red tie, Mr Adoboli, the son of a retired United Nations diplomat, sat behind a glass screen at the back of the courtroom. He spoke only to confirm his identity.
The 12-strong jury was sworn in and then sent away until Friday.
Before sending them away, Mr Justice Keith told the jury the case was likely to attract publicity and urged them not to read newspapers or read the internet or discuss the case on Facebook.
UBS is not a party to the trial, but is bracing itself for the scrutiny that it is likely to bring. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012 / Reuters