Former UBS trader on trial over $2.3 billion losses

  • A former UBS trader is on trial in London this week in a case involving losses of $2.3 billion.

    Investment banker Kweku Adoboli was arrested a year ago after the losses came to light. He has pleaded not guilty to two charges of fraud and two of false accounting in relation to trades that UBS says were unauthorized.

    The incident was seen as a serious setback for UBS and led to a number of major changes at the bank in both its staff and strategy.

    The trial is expected to subject the Swiss bank to an "uncomfortable" examination of its culture and practices.

    "Given how serious the consequences of the incident were, we must assume that UBS's culture and practices will be examined during the course of the trial," UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti wrote in an internal message published on its website.

    "As uncomfortable as the entire trial will be for UBS, it will show us what the consequences are when misconduct occurs or when individuals do not take their responsibilities seriously," wrote Ermotti.

    If convicted, Adoboli faces a possible 10-year jail sentence. His trial is expected to last about eight weeks.

    British-educated Adoboli is the son of a retired United Nations diplomat from Ghana.

    He joined UBS in 2006 and was working on the Exchange Traded Funds desk, part of the equities business within the UBS investment bank, at the time of the alleged offences