Ex-UBS trader, Kweku Adoboli who was sentenced to seven years in jail and served half his term for what was known as the biggest fraud in British history, has said that such actions could happen again by those within the banking sector after they face the same pressure to make profits “no matter what”.
Adoboli, was a senior trader in London on UBS’s Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) desk, after trading much more than he was authorised to do so he brought losses totalling $2.3 billion to the Swiss bank. cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion after trading far in excess of his authorized risk limits and making fictitious book entries to hide his true positions.
He was given a seven-year jail term and was released from prison earlier this year.
Adoboli, who is now 36 said to the BBC in an interview broadcast on Monday that he thinks it could “absolutely happen again” as we go into a period of uncertainty in the next 12-24 months in which could be the next phase of the financial crisis he said.
When at trial Ghanaian-born Adoboli pleaded that his actions were only to make profits for UBS and he was working in-line with the bank’s culture. Those prosecuting said that he was playing god with UBS’s capital through a belief that he was an elite trader also attempting to generate himself a significant bonus in the process.
During his interview he highlighted that traders within the financial industry are still under strong pressure to generate profits for banks whilst reducing risk.
“I think the young people I’ve spoken to, former colleagues I have spoken to, are still struggling with the same issues, the same conflicts, the same pressures to achieve no matter what.”
The ex-trader who now faces deportation from the U.K. speaks at conferences to address banking compliance however he has said the industry is keen to blame individuals for misdoings rather than looking at issues within the culture.
He went on to say:
“If we as a society are more honest and the leaders of these institutions are more honest about culture and systemic risk then we might get a step close to fixing the root cause of the problem.”