UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli says £1.4bn fraud ‘could happen again’ because of pressure to make profits

UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli says £1.4bn fraud ‘could happen again’ because of pressure to make profits

A former UBS trader jailed for fraud after losing the bank £1.4 billion has said it could happen again.

Kweku Adoboli, 36, was released from prison last summer after serving half of his seven-year sentence for two counts of fraud.

Asked by the BBC whether bankers’ conduct had changed since his 2012 conviction he replied: “No, certainly not.”

Adoboli said he was sorry for his mistakes but warned his former colleagues were still under the same pressure he was to make money.

“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.

“And this goes back to the structure of the industry. People are required to take risk to generate profit, because yields in the industry are consistently compressed.

“But from a politics angle, the desire is to limit that risk taking, to limit the profitability, but you have these conflicted goals.

“And if investment banks continue to chase the same level of profitability as they have in the past, the only way to generate those profits is to take more risk.

“And where the conflict comes is where people fall into this grey zone, and so I think it can absolutely happen again.

“Especially as we go into what could be the next phase of the great financial crisis over the next 12 to 24 months.”

Adoboli, the biggest rogue trader in British banking history, disguised his increasing losses by booking fictitious trades.

He alleged that others knew about this but UBS maintains that no other employees were involved in the huge fraud which at one stage could have cost the bank up to £8 billion and eventually wiped £2.8 billion off its value.

No others have been charged with offences relating to the incident.

Adoboli remains one of a small number of bankers jailed since the financial crisis. In July, Mark Johnson, HSBC’s global head of foreign exchange was arrested in New York, charged with manipulating currency trades. Former colleague Stuart Scott was also arrested. Both deny the charges.

Earlier in the month, three former Barclays traders were jailed for conspiring to fraudulently rig Libor, a global benchmark interest rate.