Kweku Adoboli

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Kweku Adoboli
Kweku-Adoboli-007 (7651035016).jpg
Born May 21, 1980 (1980-05-21) (age 35)
Tema, Ghana
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality Ghanaian
Occupation Trader
Known for Convicted of fraud in the 2011 UBS rogue trader scandal

Kweku Adoboli (born 21 May 1980) is a Ghanaian ex-trader known for his role in the 2011 UBS rogue trader scandal. He was part of Swiss bank UBS’s Global Synthetic Equities Trading team in London, and he engaged in unauthorised trading the cost the bank US$2 billion (GB£1.3 billion). He was convicted of fraud on 20 November 2012.

Early life and education[edit]

Kweku Adoboli was born on 21 May 1980 in Tema, Ghana, to John Adoboli, a senior United Nations official.[1][2] He spent his early years in Israel, Syria and Iraq,[3] before moving to the United Kingdom in 1991.[4] He attended Ackworth School in Pontefract, West Yorkshire where he was head boy.[5] In his profile on the school’s website, he wrote that he wanted to be an athlete.[5] In 2000, after finishing school, he started reading Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham, but switched to E-commerce and Digital Business Studies.[3] In 2000, he was elected as the Communications Officer of University of Nottingham Students' Union.[2] In mid-2002, Adoboli worked as a summer intern at UBS's operations department.[3] He graduated from the University of Nottingham in July 2003.[3]


Kweku Adoboli joined UBS's London office as a graduate trainee in September 2006.[1] After working for two years as a trading analyst in the bank's back office, he was promoted to a Delta One trading desk.[3][2][6] In 2008, he became a director on the ETF desk,[3][6] and by 2010, he was promoted to director, with a total annual salary of almost £200,000.[3]

Beginning in 2008, Adoboli started using the bank's money for unauthorised trades.[3] He entered false information into UBS's computers to hide the risky trades he was making.[3][6] He exceeded the bank's per-employee daily trading limit of US$100 million, and failed to hedge (finance) his trades against risk.[6] He also used his personal funds on two spread betting accounts, IG Index and City Index, where he lost around £100,000.[3] In mid-2011, UBS launched an internal investigation into Adoboli's trades.[3] On 14 September 2011, Adoboli wrote an e-mail to his manager admitting to booking false trades.[3][6] His trades cost the bank $2 billion (£1.3 billion), and wiped off $4.5 billion (£2.7 billion) from its share price.[3] The trading losses he incurred his bank were the largest unauthorised trading losses in British history.[7]

Charges and conviction[edit]

On 15 September 2011, Adoboli was arrested by City of London Police.[8] He was charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position and four counts of false accounting.[8] He spent time in prison until 8 June 2012, when he was granted bail on the condition that he is placed under curfew at a friend’s house and electronically tagged.[9] On the morning of 20 November 2012, a jury at Southwark Crown Court found Adoboli guilty unanimously of one count of fraud. After receiving an instruction allowing for a vote that would override a single hold-out, the jury found him guilty of a second count of fraud the same day. The jury also found him not guilty of the four false accounting charges.[6][7] He was sentenced to seven years in prison.[6] 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".[10]

Incarceration and release[edit]

Adoboli was incarcerated at Verne Prison in Dorset, Ford Prison in West Sussex and Maidstone Prison in Kent.[7] He was released in June 2015.[11] As he had never sought British citizenship and had remained a Ghanaian citizen (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 his friends in London and Edinburgh.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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. 
  2. ^ a b c 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. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m 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. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b 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 2015-05-23. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g 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. 
  7. ^ a b c Fortado, Lindsay (2015-06-24). "Rogue trader Kweku Adoboli out of prison". Financial Times (Pearson PLC). Archived from the original on 2015-09-17. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  8. ^ a b 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. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "Kweku Adoboli jailed for fraud over £1.4bn UBS loss". BBC News. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  11. ^ Ruddick, Graham (24 June 2015). "UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli released from prison". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  12. ^ 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. 

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