'Rogue trader' Kweku Adoboli weeps as he takes stand in £1.4bn fraud trial


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An alleged rogue trader wept as he gave evidence today as a court heard how his actions threatened to lose his employer £7.5bn.

Kweku Adoboli was just 27 when he was placed in charge of a portfolio worth £31.1bn by Swiss bank UBS.

Now aged 32, he described the bank as like a “family” to him as Southwark Crown Court was told that his unauthorised positions eventually lost the financial institution £1.4bn during the turbulent financial crisis.

Mr Adoboli, who joined the bank as an intern from Nottingham University, claimed he made illegal “off-book” trades not for personal gain but to cover the vast losses on his desk buying and selling exchange traded funds for UBS’s global synthetic equities division.

He said he and a 25-year-old senior colleague struggled to cope.  “Our book was massive. A tiny mistake led to huge losses. We were these two kids trying to make it work,” he said.

Fighting back tears he said: “It’s hard to find the words to describe the relationship I had with UBS as an organisation. It isn’t about a bank. It was about what I thought was my family, considering how much (I) neglected my real friends and family.

“Every single bit of effort I put into that organisation was for the benefit of the bank.”

The former public schoolboy from Whitechapel, east London, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and four of false accounting. The trial continues.