A former rogue trader with the Swiss bank UBS has said his crimes could be repeated as those working in the banking industry still faced the same pressure to make profits “no matter what”.
Kweku Adoboli, who served nearly four years in prison for the biggest fraud in British history, has told the BBC: “I think it could absolutely happen again. Especially as we go into what could be the next phase of the great financial crisis over the next 12 to 18 to 24 months.”
He added: “I think the young people I’ve spoken to, former colleagues I have spoken to, are still struggling with the same issues, the same conflicts, the same pressures to achieve no matter what.”
Adoboli said the industry failed to learn from when things go wrong, blaming individuals rather than addressing the culture.
He said: “If we as a society are more honest and the leaders of these institutions are more honest about culture and systemic risk then we might get a step close to fixing the root cause of the problem.”
He was found guilty of making unauthorised trades which cost the bank $2.3 billion, and it was claimed could have caused its collapse.
During his trial Ghanaian-born Adoboli said everything he did was to make profits for UBS and was in line with the bank’s culture, but prosecutors accused him of playing God with UBS’s money in the belief that he had the magic touch, driven by a desire to be a star trader with a huge bonus to match.
He now speaks free at conferences about banking compliance but has been banned from working in the finance industry and is facing deportation from Britain, even though he has lived there since the age of 12.