• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Teary UBS 'rogue trader' gives evidence

AFP · 26 Oct 2012, 17:04

Published: 26 Oct 2012 17:04 GMT+02:00

Before entering the witness box at Southwark Crown Court, Adoboli was charged with two further counts of false accounting, to which he pleaded not guilty.

He choked up and wiped his eyes with a handkerchief when his lawyer noted that his father, a Ghanaian former United Nations official, had been at the court to support him since his trial began on September 10th.

Adoboli, 32, stands accused of faking hedge deals by inventing clients, leaving Switzerland's biggest bank exposed to huge losses when the market turned against him.

In addition to the new charges, he also denies two charges of fraud and two charges of false accounting in the period between October 2008 and September last year.

"This is the first opportunity you have had to give evidence on oath," his lawyer Paul Garlick told him.

Wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a red tie, Adoboli confirmed his name, date of birth and place of birth in the Ghanaian capital Accra.

He described his early life, moving from Ghana to Jerusalem, then Damascus, Ghana and Israel again due to his father's work.

He became emotional and wiped tears from his eyes as his lawyer said his father had been in the courtroom throughout his trial to support him.

After recovering his composure, Adoboli explained that to end the disruption of moving from country to country, he was sent to a Quaker boarding school in England and then attended a university in England.

While there he secured an internship with UBS, which then offered him a job.

After working in settlements and trade support, he joined the exchange traded funds (ETF) desk in September 2006, working under desk chief Mike Foster and alongside trader John Hughes.
   "The business was growing so rapidly and the book was so big and so complex
the two of them just couldn't do it on their own," he said.

Under Foster, profits grew from $5 million in 2005 to $65 million in 2007. When he left that year, it was a "huge blow".

That left Hughes as the senior trader, with just Adoboli alongside him.

Adoboli said it seemed "crazy" that a 26-year-old with five years' experience was in charge of a $50 billion book but "that's how it was".

"We wanted to make sure we could build something we were proud of," he said, breaking down in tears again.

"I did all of the client trading, all of the risk management of the book."

He said the two of them reported to a new line manager, but he "didn't have any experience of how an ETF desk works. To be honest, no one did apart from myself and John.

Story continues below…

"After about six months, they realized, to be fair, we were struggling."

A "babysitter" was brought in to manage them, but he was made redundant in 2008, with a young trade assistant going at the same time, in the midst of the global financial meltdown.

"The markets had gone into the crisis that we are ultimately still in. We needed help," Adoboli said.

He said he would work from 6am until 9pm or sometimes later.

"On two occasions, I actually slept under the desk," he said.

"It didn't get any easier. The hours just got longer."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
No blanket IOC doping ban for Russian athletes
The IOC ruled that 800m runner Yuliya Stepanova, who turned whistleblower on doping in Russian athletics, could not go to Rio even as a neutral. Photo: AFP

At a meeting in Lausanne on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee on Sunday ordered individual sports federations to decide whether Russian competitors should take part in the Rio Games after failing to agree on a complete ban over Russia's state-run doping.

Van Gogh, Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe
The works were seized following a request from the United States, one of several countries probing alleged massive fraud at the Malaysian state fund 1MDB. Photo: AFP

Switzerland has seized a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and two others by Claude Monet as part of the global investigation into Malaysia's scandal-tainted sovereign wealth fund, an official said on Friday.

IOC reports more doping failures pre-Rio
President Thomas Bach said the retesting showed the IOC's commitment to fight doping. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee reports 45 new doping failures from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Swiss pilots: don’t hunt Pokémon from the air
Pokemon hunting has become a world-wide craze. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The Swiss civil aviation office hears reports of people playing the popular new game from helicopters.

‘Nelson’ the black swan found dead in Montreux
File photo: Noel Reynolds

The non-native swan caused a media storm earlier this month.

Zurich school threatened over links to Erdogan opponent
File photo: Aris Messini/AFP

School targeted over claims it is associated with Fethullah Gulen.

Violent storms hit Switzerland as planet heats up (again)
File photo: Benjamin Benson

Globally, June 2016 was the hottest month on record.

Swiss sports court upholds ban on Russian athletes
Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva (centre) is among the athletes affected. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/Wang Zhao/Greg Baker/AFP

The decision by Lausanne's Court of Arbitration for Sport is a "funeral for athletics" said one Russian athlete.

Swiss Post moves to accept debit cards – sometimes
Photo: Swiss Post

By December customers will be able to pay for products (but not their bills) by debit card.

Study: a fifth of Swiss spy on neighbours
22 percent admit to watching their neighbours. File photo: Chase Elliott Clark

And 40 percent of Swiss feel watched in their homes.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Features
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Photo: The Local
Society
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
International
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: The Local
International
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP/The Local
Lifestyle
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
National
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Society
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Whitepod
Features
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
International
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
National
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Technology
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Robert Valencia
International
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
National
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Politics
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Bernacqua
Lifestyle
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
Lifestyle
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Daniel Orth
Education
Muslim school kids denied passport for refusing swimming lessons
Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP
Politics
Swiss-EU talks ‘must’ resume this summer, says President
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
File photo: Kochtopf
National
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Society
Geneva could get 'café fellatio' by end of year
Features
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
4,580
jobs available