Rogue trader does not deserve to be deported
Britain’s biggest rogue trader is soon to be deported from these shores, assuming there is no last-minute reprieve.
Kweku Adoboli lost $2 billion of Swiss bank UBS’S money by hiding unhedged trades and secretly doubling his bets while frantically trying to make the money back. His crime cost 500 jobs and landed him in jail for three years. Because he’s not British – he had permanent residence but never applied for citizenship – he will soon be sent to Ghana.
It seems a slam-dunk case. And yet…
Mr Adoboli has lived in the UK since he was 12. He left Ghana aged four with his diplomat father, he barely remembers the country and considers himself British. His crime wasn’t violent, he’s certainly not a reoffending risk and, since his release from jail, he’s been hired repeatedly by banks’ compliance units to lecture traders on how not to be him.
And he would not be the first trader lavished with praise on the way up and then cast out, his managers disappearing from the scene, when it went wrong.
None of this excuses the crime, for which serving half of a seven-year sentence seems rather lenient to me. The system probably just has to be the free daily newspaper City AM and came across a few “vox pops” I had done in the City of London. The job was to ask several random punters a question and feature them in the paper the next day.
One of the questions was about whether the UK ought to contribute to the cost of bailing out Ireland. Everyone I had asked had said yes in one way or another, but the answer given by an insurance broker named Kelly jumped out at me: “Yes, we should help to bail them out,” she said, “because I’m sure they would help us out if we needed it.”
Fast forward eight years to Brexit negotiations… Thanks, Ireland!