Rogue UBS trader headed to prison

‘‘I grew up with UBS. I felt very loyal to UBS,’’ testified Kweku Adoboli, saying he tried to help offset bank losses.

Getty Images/File 2012

‘‘I grew up with UBS. I felt very loyal to UBS,’’ testified Kweku Adoboli, saying he tried to help offset bank losses.

LONDON — A rogue trader who lost $2.2 billion in bad deals at the Swiss bank UBS was sentenced to 7 years in prison Tuesday after being convicted in what prosecutors called the biggest fraud case in the history of British banking.

Kweku Adoboli, 32, exceeded his trading limits and failed to cover losses, faking records to hide his tracks at the bank’s London office. At one point, he risked losses up to $12 billion.


‘‘There is a strong streak of the gambler in you,’’ Judge Brian Keith told Adoboli. ‘‘You were arrogant to think the bank’s rules for traders did not apply to you.’’

A conviction for fraud carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. A jury found Adoboli guilty of two counts of fraud and not guilty of four false ­accounting charges.

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The trader ran into trouble dealing in exchange traded funds, complex financial products that track stocks, bonds, and commodities. He said he was pressured by staff to take risks. He also testified he had been trying to help UBS survive after it amassed losses of $52 billion during the 2007-2008 global financial crisis.

Prosecutors said it was the biggest fraud in British banking history, but not the largest trading loss. JPMorgan Chase lost at least $5.8 billion in ­London, it said in July.

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