“Adoboli Trades Were Queried by UBS Accountant”
I chose an article from the Financial Times that is based on a man by the name of Kweku Adoboli, a former trader based in London. Adoboli was accused of fraudulently gambling away $2.3 billion from the Swiss bank, UBS. According to his LinkedIn profile, from 2006 to 2011, he worked at USB’s Equity Trading division as a trade support analyst in the London office. In August 2011, a back office accountant at UBS started asking Adoboli questions once he realized that a $3.57 billion “break” did not balance on the books. The accountant spent the next six weeks trying to investigate the discrepancy and emailed and called Adoboli, who was then a trader on the exchange traded funds desk at UBS. After further investigation, Adoboli was arrested last September and charged with fraud by abuse of position and false accounting. His trial began just a few weeks ago. Once on trial, Adoboli’s defense team asked the back office accountant whether it was unusual for a “break” to involve that amount of money. “It is unusual but not unknown,” he told the court. The former trader gave explanations including that he had booked internal future trades rather than exchange traded funds because he was “very busy”. But according to the accountant, if Adoboli booked the correct trades, they would be seen by the outside world and he’d spend a lot more time calculating the price and have to book a lot more detail than internal trades. The defendant retorted that this was a temporary solution where he was short of time to make the books look balanced and eventually put the right trade in. After some additional court room banter, the prosecution presented the court with evidence that on September 14, 2011, the account demanded the names of the counterparties for the trades by Adoboli. Shortly thereafter, the accountant received an email from Adoboli confessing that the trades he was seeking clarification on were not real trades at all. The...
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