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Without Kweku Adoboli, Who Will Tell British Would-Be Rogue Traders That It’s Not Their Fault?

If you kick him out of the country, the next billion-dollar unauthorized trading scandal is on your head.
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By thetaxhaven (Kweku-Adoboli-007Uploaded by traveler100) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By thetaxhaven (Kweku-Adoboli-007Uploaded by traveler100) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Kweku Adoboli, who rather spectacularly lost UBS $2.3 billion on some unauthorized trades, is in a bit of a bind. Convicted of fraud and sent to prison for a few years over it, the Ghanian native finds that he not welcome in his adopted homeland, where he’s currently sleeping on a buddy’s couch in Edinburgh. As it turns out, multi-billion pound criminal convictions also come with deportation orders. Now, Adoboli doesn’t want to leave the U.K., where he’s lived for two-thirds of his 36 years. And in order to stay there, he has to prove that his presence is in the public interest. One tried-and-true approach to demonstrate such is publicly flagellating yourself in front of those at risk of becoming you or charged with tracking people like you down. And Adoboli is doing that—kinda. His message is less, “Don’t make unauthorized trades and, if you do, certainly don’t lie about them,” but, “The system is rigged against highly-paid traders like myself.”

Mr. Adoboli acknowledged that some view his appearances before groups like the Oxford Students’ Union and the Forward Institute, a British think tank, as a “cynical ploy” to avoid deportation on grounds that there is a public interest in having him remain in Britain….

Yet Mr. Adoboli, 36, believes that his experience offers a valuable lesson to regulators and financial institutions on the need for robust controls at investment banks and a change in their profits-at-all-costs work culture.

“I don’t want some kid to go through what I went through,” he said. “It is heartbreaking, and the only way we change that is we fix the system….”

Mr. Adoboli also blamed the strenuous work culture at banks for paving the way for him to make “morally unsound” decisions as losses started to pile up.

A Rogue Trader Blames the System, but Not All Are Persuaded [DealBook]


Kweku Adoboli Is A Free Man!

Kind of! Though he doesn't go to trial until September, the UBS's rogue trader was granted bail after ten months in jail and a February denial to go home. Naturally, he's pretty pleased about the turn of events (which allow for sleepovers). Mr. Adoboli, 32, has to stick to a curfew but can stay at a friend’s house wearing an electronic tag as part of the bail agreement. Tim Harris, Mr. Adoboli’s lawyer at Bark & Company, said his client was “delighted” and would like to thank family and friends for their support in achieving his release. Mr. Adoboli is expected to be released from London’s Wandsworth prison as early as Monday, Mr. Harris said. Mr. Adoboli had pleaded not guilty to counts of false accounting and fraud. He was arrested in September after UBS alerted the police. The bank claimed that Mr. Adoboli had masked the billion dollar losses from internal controls with fictitious trades. Mr. Adoboli has remained in custody ever since his arrest. The trading scandal rocked the Swiss bank and led to the resignation of its chief executive, Oswald J. Grübel. Denying Mr. Adoboli bail in February, the judge said that the allegations against the former trader were “serious” and “backed up with cogent evidence.” Former UBS Trader Is Granted Bail [Dealbook]

Really only one reason to have a branch in Tallinn. By Pjotr Mahhonin [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

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