Rogue Trader (film)

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Rogue Trader
Video-release poster
Directed by James Dearden
Produced by Janette Day
James Dearden
Paul Raphael
Written by James Dearden
Nick Leeson (autobiography)
Edward Whitley
Starring Ewan McGregor
Anna Friel
Music by Richard Hartley
Cinematography Jean-François Robin
Edited by Catherine Creed
Distributed by Pathé (UK)
Cinemax (USA)
Release dates
June 25, 1999 (UK, USA)
November 25, 1999 (Australia)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $12,800,000 (estimated)
Box office £969,565 (UK sub-total)

Rogue Trader is a 1999 drama film directed by James Dearden about former derivatives broker Nick Leeson and the 1995 collapse of Barings Bank. Based on Leeson's 1996 book Rogue Trader: How I Brought Down Barings Bank and Shook the Financial World it stars Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel.


Rogue Trader tells the true story of Nick Leeson, an employee of Barings Bank who after a successful spell working for the firm's office in Indonesia is sent to Singapore as General Manager of the Trading Floor on the SIMEX exchange. The movie follows Leeson's rise as he soon becomes one of Barings' key traders. However, everything isn't as it appears — through the 88888 error account, Nick is hiding huge losses as he gambles away Baring's money with little more than the bat of an eyelid from the powers-that-be back in London.

Eventually the losses mount up to well over £800 million and Nick, along with his wife Lisa, decide to leave Singapore and escape to Malaysia. Nick doesn't realise the severity of his losses until he reads in the newspaper that Barings has gone bankrupt. They then decide to return to London but Nick is arrested en route in Frankfurt. Nick is extradited to Singapore where he is sentenced to six and a half years in jail and is diagnosed with colon cancer. Because of this, he did not complete his sentence.


Release and distribution[edit]

Rogue Trader was released on 25 June 1999 in the UK and the USA. It was distributed by Pathé in the UK and Cinemax in the USA.It flopped miserably, gaining less than 1 million sterling in the UK.[1][2]


Rogue Trader was poorly received by critics, as the film holds a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 reviews.


  1. ^ "Risky business", The Guardian, 1999-06-08, retrieved 2012-02-23 
  2. ^ Mink, Eric (1999-06-25), "Obi-Wan Dons Coat & Tie as 'Rogue Trader'", Daily News, retrieved 2012-02-23 

External links[edit]