* USB trader said to be using public hostility to banks as
* Defence lawyer cites behaviour of "rogue's gallery of
By Estelle Shirbon
LONDON, Nov 9 Former UBS trader Kweku
Adoboli was accused on Friday of trying to rely on public
hostility towards banks as a defence in his rogue-trading trial.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass urged the jury to put aside whatever
feelings they may have about the failings of the banking
industry and focus on the alleged wrongdoing of Adoboli, 32, who
is blamed for a loss of $2.3 billion.
Adoboli, then a senior trader on the Exchange Traded Funds
(ETFs) desk, was arrested at UBS's London offices in September
last year. He denies four counts of false accounting and two of
fraud by abuse of position.
Adoboli admits trading in excess of his risk limits,
concealing his positions with fictitious bookings into the
accounts, and lying to the back office during the summer of
2011, when he says he "lost control" of his trading due to
He says he was not acting dishonestly because others
sanctioned his methods, which he had been using profitably for
years. He also says the bank had pushed him to increase profits
in a way it knew could not be achieved by sticking to the
"Mr Adoboli is relying in his defense on the dislike that
many people have of banks or bankers," Wass told the jury in the
final minutes of a lengthy closing speech for the prosecution.
"We love to despise the greed, the recklessness, the
arrogance of bankers. Mr Adoboli has sought to cash in on this
public mood," she said.
During the course of his eight days defending himself in the
witness box, Adoboli had cited various scandals affecting UBS
and other banks as evidence that this was an industry that did
not strictly enforce rules or ethical standards.
"I am not here to defend the bankers," Wass told the jury.
"I am here to prosecute one of them."
She told the jury that none of the witnesses who were
employees or ex-employees of UBS had backed up Adoboli's account
of a bank that cared only about profits, no matter how they were
"None of those people (the witnesses) fit the mould of the
reckless and arrogant banker," said Wass.
"During this case we've seen only one person who fits the
cliche of the reckless and arrogant banker, and that is Mr
But launching into the closing speech for the defence after
Wass had finished, Adoboli's lawyer Charles Sherrard made
exactly the point she had been seeking to undermine.
Sherrard raced through what he called a "rogues' gallery of
banks", mentioning to the jury the fall of Lehman Brothers, the
bailout of UBS by the Swiss government, the problems at
Britain's Northern Rock and RBS, and the LIBOR interest
rate-rigging scandal that has engulfed Barclays.
He argued that what all of these disparate events had in
common was "the drive to make money".