Societe Generale rogue trader released from prison

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Societe Generale rogue trader released from prison

Karl Flinders

The rogue trader who cost French bank Societe Generale billions of euros using computer hacking techniques is to be released from prison.

In 2008, Paris-based Jerome Kerviel used his knowledge of automatic checks – which are carried out on trades to check they are legitimate – to avoid being found out. He risked billions by betting on future trends in the stock market and the bank lost almost €5bn as a result.

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He was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail and started his prison sentence in May 2014. However, he is to be released after serving only 110 days and has been ordered to wear an electronic tag.

Kerviel worked in the back office. At the time of the fraud being revealed, a Societe Generale statement said: "Aided by his in-depth knowledge of the control procedures, resulting from his former employment in the middle office, he managed to conceal these positions through a scheme of elaborate fictitious transactions.”

In 2011, Kweku Adoboli, a 31-year-old trader, was arrested following UBS's announcement that a rogue trader had caused massive losses. 

UBS interim CEO Sergio Ermotti later admitted systems in the bank's IT infrastructure did detect the unauthorised trading activities of Adoboli, who cost UBS more than $2bn, but nothing was done about the warning signals.

Following the Societe Generale fraud, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) reported that many UK investment banks reviewed their trading controls, including IT systems.


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