Adoboli in September 2011
May 21, 1980 (age 38)|
|Known for||Convicted of fraud in the 2011 UBS rogue trader scandal|
Kweku Adoboli (born 21 May 1980) is a former investment manager and rogue trader. He was convicted of illegally trading away US$2 billion (GB£1.3 billion) as a trader for Swiss investment bank UBS. While at the bank he primarily worked on UBS' Global Synthetic Equities Trading team in London where he engaged in what would later be known as the 2011 UBS rogue trader scandal. After serving a prison sentence, he lost several appeals against the Home Office decision to deport him to Ghana.
Early life and education
Kweku Adoboli was born on 21 May 1980 in Tema, Ghana, to John Adoboli, a senior United Nations official. He spent his early years in Israel, Syria and Iraq, before moving to the United Kingdom in 1991. He attended Ackworth School in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, where he was head boy. In his profile on the school’s website, he wrote that he wanted to be an athlete. In 2000, after finishing school, he started reading Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham, but switched to E-commerce and Digital Business Studies. In 2000, he was elected as the Communications Officer of University of Nottingham Students' Union. In mid-2002, Adoboli worked as a summer intern at UBS's operations department. He graduated from Nottingham in July 2003.
Adoboli joined UBS's London office as a graduate trainee in September 2006. After working for two years as a trading analyst in the bank's back office, he was promoted to a Delta One trading desk. In 2008, he became a director on the ETF desk, and by 2010, he was promoted to director, with a total annual salary of almost £200,000.
Beginning in 2008, Adoboli started using the bank's money for unauthorised trades. He entered false information into UBS's computers to hide the risky trades he was making. He exceeded the bank's per-employee daily trading limit of US$100 million, and failed to hedge his trades against risk. He also used his personal funds on two spread betting accounts, IG Index and City Index, where he lost around £100,000. In mid-2011, UBS launched an internal investigation into Adoboli's trades. On 14 September 2011, Adoboli wrote an e-mail to his manager admitting to booking false trades. His trades cost the bank $2 billion (£1.3 billion) and wiped off $4.5 billion (£2.7 billion) from its share price. The trading losses he incurred while trading for his bank were the largest unauthorised trading losses in British history.
Charges and conviction
On 15 September 2011, Adoboli was arrested by City of London Police. He was charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position and four counts of false accounting. He was in prison on remand until 8 June 2012, when he was granted bail subject to being electronically tagged and placed under curfew at a friend’s house. On the morning of 20 November 2012, a jury at Southwark Crown Court unanimously found Adoboli guilty on one count of fraud. Later the same day, after receiving an instruction allowing for a majority decision with a single vote against, the jury found him guilty of a second count of fraud. The jury also found him not guilty on the four false accounting charges. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. The City of London Police said: "This was the UK's biggest fraud, committed by one of the most sophisticated fraudsters the City of London Police has ever come across."
Incarceration, release, and deportation proceedings
Adoboli was incarcerated at Verne Prison in Dorset, Ford Prison in West Sussex and Maidstone Prison in Kent. He was released in June 2015. As he was a Ghanaian citizen and had never sought British citizenship despite having lived in the United Kingdom since 1991, he was subject to the British Home Office's policy of deporting any foreign national who has been given a sentence of more than four years. He was served with deportation proceedings in July 2015, and was therefore unable to work, and lived with friends in London and Edinburgh. After his release from jail he gave many talks to students, financial traders and others in the banking industry on operating ethically and avoiding the mistakes he made.
He lost an appeal against deportation in July 2016, and continued to appeal; he was eventually denied permission for a judicial review of the deportation proceedings and is facing deportation in September 2018, which he believes is due to the Home Office hostile environment policy on immigration. In addition, the officials from the Home Office say that they are basing their actions on an "application of long-standing regulations".
- Yasuo Hamanaka caused a loss of about $2.6 billion, over ten years, in unauthorized copper trading on the London Metal Exchange
- Howie Hubler lost $9 billion in one CDS trade for Morgan Stanley, the largest single loss in history
- Jérôme Kerviel
- Nick Leeson caused a loss of £827 million for Barings Bank, leading to its collapse
- List of trading losses
- Diane Taylor (19 August 2018). "Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli vows to fight deportation". The Observer. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- Walker, Peter; Hirsch, Afua (2012-11-20). "How Kweku Adoboli's gilded life came crashing down". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 2015-08-15. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Rayner, Gordon; Hough, Andrew; Evans, Martin (2011-09-16). "From Ghana to the City: the rise of a trader who had it all". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Archived from the original on 2011-12-10. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
- Dalton, Samantha (2012-11-20). "Kweku Adoboli: From 'rising star' to rogue trader". BBC News Online. BBC. Archived from the original on 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Sule, Ahmed (2011-11-20). "Kweku Adoboli: Every 'criminal' is Nigerian, African". Business Day. Business Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Wright, Stephen; Camber, Rebecca; Greenwood, Chris (2011-11-15). "Bank unaware that 'rogue trader' had lost £1.3bn until he blew the whistle on HIMSELF". Mail Online. Daily Mail and General Trust. Archived from the original on 2015-09-17. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Walker, Peter (2012-09-20). "UBS trader 'risked the very existence of the bank', court told". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Fortado, Lindsay (2015-06-24). "Rogue trader Kweku Adoboli out of prison". Financial Times. Pearson PLC. Archived from the original on 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Simpson, Emma (2012-11-20). "Kweku Adoboli jailed for fraud over £1.4bn UBS loss". BBC News Online. BBC. Archived from the original on 2015-04-29. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "UBS 'rogue trader' Kweku Adoboli released on bail in McDonald's car park". The Daily Telegraph. 2012-06-13. Archived from the original on 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "Kweku Adoboli jailed for fraud over £1.4bn UBS loss". BBC News. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- Ruddick, Graham (24 June 2015). "UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli released from prison". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- Fortado, Linday (2015-10-11). "Rogue trader Kweku Adoboli fights deportation to Ghana". Financial Times. Pearson PLC. Archived from the original on 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
- "Ex-UBS trader loses deportation appeal". BBC News. 2016-07-20. Retrieved 2018-05-17.