Former UBS Trader Adoboli Warns Banking Culture Hasn’t Changed

Released after 4 years of a 7 year sentence, the former UBS trader spoke to the BBC in a televised

Kweku Adoboli, the former UBS trader who was jailed for fraud in the aftermath of the great financial crisis, has come forth to state that the banking culture and the ways of the big banks haven’t changed since he served his four year sentence.

Mr Adoboli was found guilty of conspiring to fraud while working at the Swiss investment banking giant’s London trading desk. While working as Director of the Swiss bank’s Global Synthetic Equities Trading team in London, he racked up to $2 billion in losses due to unauthorized trading.

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As a result, the CEO of the Swiss bank Oswald Grübel resigned in September 2011. The move was followed by the direct supervisors of Adoboli’s activity, Francois Gouws and Yassine Bouhara, who were the co-heads of Global Equities at UBS.

According to some information that leaked weeks after the incident, the management of UBS failed to act on some automatic warnings that were issued in relation to Adoboli’s trading activities.

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After pleading not guilty, Adoboli was found culpable for up to $2.3 billion of trading losses in index futures including trades in EuroStoxx, DAX and S&P 500.

The former trader elaborated that to this day the culture at big banks for seeking profits at all costs has not changed and that peers he has been in contact with have shared with him that the pressure on traders to consistently deliver big profits remains significant.

After Adeboli was given a seven year sentence, he was released earlier this year after ssjust four years after his jailing earlier this year.

Speaking with the BBC in an interview which was aired earlier today he said, “Unfortunately the conversation I’ve had with people in the industry over the past year, the young traders and the senior execs are still looking for a way to change the industry.

“The young people are still struggling with the same issues and the same pressures to achieve their targets ‘no matter what’,” the former UBS trader said.

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