UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli is sorry but warns it could happen again

Hayley Kirton
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Alleged Rogue Trader Kweku Adoboli Appears In Court
Adoboli has warned traders were pushed to make profits, regardless of the costs (Source: Getty)

UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli has warned banking culture still has a lot to answer for.

Adoboli was convicted on two counts of fraud in 2012 after his unauthorised trading lost Swiss banking giant UBS £1.4bn. He was released from prison last summer after serving around half of his seven-year sentence.

Now, Adoboli has told the BBC traders were pushed to make profits “no matter what” and has warned trading culture is still such that a similar crime could “absolutely” happen again.

He warned it was especially important now as it looked like we could be about to “the next phase” of the financial crisis over the next year or two.

Read more: EHCR accepts UBS' petition to challenge French tax case

When asked if he thought anything had changed in the banking industry since he was found guilty, he replied:

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 former trader also apologised for his actions, adding: “I am devastated not for myself but for my institution and the people I have worked with.”

Read more: Hayes lost nearly everything trying to trade for legal fees

However, while he felt those who had made mistakes should answer for their actions, he added he wasn’t convinced prison was the solution - something that might come as a comfort to the four ex-Barclays bankers who were sentenced to jail for Libor-rigging offences last month.

“I think people need to be held to account for their failings but I'm not entirely sure - and this is a rather controversial view - I'm not entirely sure blame and sending people to prison is the answer,” Adoboli said.

“It might help society to know people are being held to account but it doesn't solve the problems.”

Adoboli is currently facing deportation to Ghana, where he was born but only lived while he was a young child.

Like Tom Hayes, who is currently serving an 11-year sentence for Libor-rigging offences, Adoboli - who has been blocked from accepting paying work because of the deportation order - is using Fundrazr to raise legal fees. At time of writing, he has raised just over £14,000, or 19 per cent of his £75,000 goal.

UBS declined to comment.

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