'I am deeply sorry to have left this mess for everyone'.
Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli is back in the news again this week, as he is one of three keynote speakers at the Financial Times Banking Summit later this month. The others are said to be Barclays CEO Jes Staley and Standard Chartered boss Bill Winters.
Here's the email sent by Adoboli on September 14th, 2011 to internal bank accountant William Steward advising that things might not be the way they seemed. Soon after, the shit really hit the fan. Ultimately UBS lost over $2bn as a result of Adoboli's trading activities. Adoboli was convicted of fraud on 20 November 2012, and served time in prison.
It is with great stress that I write this mail. First of all the ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) trades that you see on the ledger are not trades that I have done with a counterparty as I previously described.
I used the bookings as a way to suppress the PnL losses that I have accrued through off-book trades that I made. Those trades were previously profit making, became loss making as the market sold off aggressively though the aggressive sell-off days of July and early August.
Initially, I had been short futures through June and those lost money when the first Greek confidence vote went through in mid-June. In order to try and make the money back I flipped the trade long through the rally.
Although I had a couple of opportunities to unwind the long trade for a negligible loss, I did not move quickly enough for the market weakness on the back of the first back macro data and then an escalation Eurozone crisis cost me the losses you will see when the ETF bookings are cancelled. The aim had been to try and make the money back before the September expiry date came through but I clearly failed.
These are still live trades on the book that will need to be unwound. Namely a short position in DAX futures [which had been rolled to December expiry] and a short position in S and P 500 futures that are due to expire on Friday.
I have now left the office for the sake of discretion. I will need to come back in to discuss the positions and explain face to face, but for reasons that are obvious, I did not think it wise to stay on the desk this afternoon.
I will expect that questions will be asked as to why nobody else was aware of these trades. The reality is that I have always maintained that these were EFP trades to the member of my team, BUC, trade support and John Di Bacco (Adoboli’s manager).
I take full responsibility for my actions and the stilt storm that will now ensue. I am deeply sorry to have left this mess for everyone and to have put my bank and my colleagues at risk.