Ask Kweku Adoboli why bankers do not go to jail, and he would no doubt look surprised. A London-based trader at the Swiss bank UBS, Adoboli was jailed in November 2012 for what police described as the biggest fraud in UK history. He racked up £1.2bn of losses through secretive trades – and at one point those trades could have forced UBS to take a £7bn hit, enough to bring down the Swiss bank.
He is not the only banker to have been incarcerated. Nick Leeson – jailed in Singapore for bringing down Barings in 1995 – is now on the after-dinner speaking circuit. In August, he announced free trading programmes intended, he said, to “help people not make the same mistakes I did”.
Tom Hayes is behind bars, serving 11 years after being convicted for rigging Libor interest rates. Four former Barclays bankers have also been jailed for conspiring to fraudulently rig global benchmark interest rates.
Robert Jenkins, a former Bank of England policymaker who is now a senior fellow at Better Markets said: “During the crisis, [there was] a misplaced judgment on the part of authorities that prosecution would undermine further confidence in the banking system.”
To read the full Guardian article by Jill Treanor click here.