Trader says he is “sorry beyond words”
While UBS CEO Oswald Gruebel battled to keep the Swiss bank’s investment arm and save his job, the trader accused of unauthorised deals that lost the bank $2.3bn (£1.4bn) said he was “sorry beyond words.”
UBS trader Kweku Adoboli did not seek bail when he made a brief court appearance in London on Thursday. His lawyer, Patrick Gibbs, said Adoboli was “sorry beyond words for what had happened” and was “appalled at the scale of the consequences of his disastrous miscalculations.”
The 31-year old did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody until a further hearing next month.
More than 6,000 miles away in Singapore, with his job on the line after the scandal, Gruebel is embroiled in three days of meetings where he will fight to maintain the investment bank as part of the group’s business alongside wealth management, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
The 67-year-old German, a former bond trader himself, has been delivering “a consistent message” throughout the week, despite twin British and Swiss investigations into how Adoboli evaded UBS’s compliance department, sources said.
“One incident doesn’t mean UBS will rush to sell the investment bank,” said a second source who attended a meeting between Gruebel and senior Asian executives earlier in the week.
But the market expects to see at least one senior head roll.
“The best signal … would probably be for UBS to let go of Carsten Kengeter, who as CEO of investment banking is ultimately responsible for the losses,” said Christian Stark, analyst at Cheuvreux.
“It would also send a signal that the board realises it made mistakes in aggressively rebuilding IB (the investment bank) and (would) make any commitments to downsize IB appear more credible.”
UBS’s London bankers were this week being told who had lost their jobs as part of 3,500 job cuts announced last month, even before news of the rogue trading losses broke a week ago.