Look Who Ex-UBS Trader Blames For His $2.3bn Trading Loss

Pointing The Finger

It's not his fault, he says.

Kweku Adoboli blamed his $2.3bn trading loss on UBS senior management, including investment-bank co-head Carsten Kengeter, pressuring him to change trading positions.

Bloomberg reports that Adoboli, 32, told the London court where he is on trial for fraud and false accounting that he isn’t a rogue trader and 'we wouldn’t be here today' if he hadn’t been pushed to change his market outlook from negative to positive during the summer of 2011. His view up until July 1st of that year was that the market was going to crash, Adoboli said. He claimed that colleagues had pressured him into changing his view from bearish to bullish, a switch that led him to make huge losses.

'Ultimately after two weeks of fighting against the tide, to have senior managers tell me I’m wrong', Adoboli said during his second day of testimony. 'At that stage I broke, I just broke. So at the point where I should’ve held on, I should’ve had the conviction of my view in the market, at that very point I changed my conviction of the market. So that’s why I don’t believe I’m a rogue trader'.

'The reality is that the trades that were done over the summer period were the result of the intervention of a lot of people around me'. Adoboli told the jury at Southwark Crown Court.

Reuters reports that Adoboli claims he flipped his position following the pressure on him.

'It sold off 30% from peak to trough and I held it all the way down because of the intervention of those around me', he said.

'I wish I was a rogue trader. I wish I hadn't listened', he said, arguing that if he had stuck to his short position he would have made profits not losses and would never have got into trouble.

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image: © Lisamarie Babik

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