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Kerviel says superiors knew about €4.9bn rogue trades

City A.M. Reporter
ROGUE trader Jérôme Kerviel kept his unauthorised risky bets at Société Générale hidden to “save appearances”, the 33-year-old said yesterday.

Although he said he never admitted the unauthorised trading to superiors, Kerviel told the court in the Palais de Justice it was impossible they did not know what he was doing. Kerviel spoke after SocGen’s head of global markets insisted the bank was unaware of Kerviel’s positions that cost it €4.9bn (£4bn) to unwind in 2008.

“[I hid the positions] to save appearances. What I was doing was obvious to everyone, but I wanted to give the impression, the appearance of a cover,” he said.

The ex-trader does not deny building up positions worth an estimated €50bn but insists his bosses knew what he was doing. SocGen has denied tacit complicity and demands Kerviel be sentenced.

Kerviel risks five years in prison and a €375,000 fine if found guilty of charges of breach of trust, computer abuse and forgery.

His trial began last Tuesday amid a media frenzy over one of the most famous faces of the financial crisis in France.