Tears of the trader ‘who gambled away £4bn’
ROGUE trader Jerome Kerviel wept yesterday as he appeared in court accused of losing £4billion.
The 33-year-old, dubbed a ‘financial terrorist’, faces up to five years in prison for what has been described as one of the biggest financial frauds in history.
He is charged with forgery and fraudulent use of the computer system at Societe Generale, France’s second largest bank.
Outside the Paris court, Kerviel insisted he was ‘a man who acknowledges his wrongdoings but refuses to pay for a financial system gone mad’.
His lawyer Olivier Metzner said that his client’s ‘sole motive was to make money for the bank’.
Kerviel told the court: ‘We lived to meet my targets. The support of my bosses kept me going.’
By the time of his arrest in Janu- ary 2008, Kerviel’s gambles on European index futures were said to total around £42billion – one quarter of the bank’s entire market value.
SocGen has accused Kerviel of being a ‘financial terrorist’, making unauthorised deals which far exceeded his trading limits and then trying to cover them up with fake emails and false claims to controllers.
But although he admits taking ‘excessive risks’, Kerviel insists the bank made him a scapegoat when the scale of the deals became public.
‘I was wrong and committed errors, faults even, but I was serious and efficient at work and the fact my bosses protected me and I was promoted during my short career shows this,’ he wrote in his recently published memoir.
Charges: Jerome Kerviel