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UBS probes $2.3bln rogue trade loss

Monday, September 19, 2011 - 01:31

Sept. 19 - UBS kicks off an internal investigation into the catastophic failure of its risks systems after rogue trades costs the Swiss bank $2.3 billion, raising the pressure on top management. Sonia Legg reports.

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Kweku Adoboli may be in jail but the questions about his alleged rogue trades have only just begun. The 31-year-old is in custody in the UK awaiting trial on charges of fraud and false accounting dating back to 2008. His employer UBS has now launched an internal enquiry, headed by an independent investigator, into the failure of its risk systems. At the weekend the Swiss bank raised the amount Adoboli had lost from $2 to $2.3 billion, sparking criticism from some analysts. The bank said he hid "unauthorised speculative trading" by creating fictitious hedging positions in internal systems. The pressure has increased on UBS's Chief Executive Oswald Grueble as a result. He has said he won't resign over the case but accepts the alleged fraud will have consequences for strategy and possibly for himself. The loss was a heavy blow to the reputation of Switzerland's biggest bank. It had only just started to recover from near collapse during the last financial crisis and a damaging U.S. scandal about its support for wealthy Americans trying to dodge taxes. UBS shares rose slightly after the inquiry announcement while other European banking stocks slid. Swiss politicians were due to debate tough new financial regulations on Monday as a result of the case. They may call for the bank to split off its investment unit to shield the core wealth management business from any future risks. Sonia Legg, Reuters.

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UBS probes $2.3bln rogue trade loss

Monday, September 19, 2011 - 01:31