UBS 'Rogue Trader': We Were Pushed to Limit
Alleged rogue trader Kweku Adoboli who is accused of gambling away £1.4bn has given jurors his account of how the losses unfolded.
The 32-year-old denies committing Britain's biggest ever fraud while working for Swiss bank UBS during the global financial crisis.
He said he "lost control in the maelstrom of the financial crisis."
He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud and four counts of false accounting between October 2008 and last September relating to a so-called "umbrella" fund for off-book trades.
Southwark Crown Court heard the fund was doing well until he changed from a conservative "bearish" position to an aggressive "bullish" stance - under pressure from senior managers, Mr Adoboli said.
Describing the moment when he began to make serious losses as European markets crashed in July last year, he said: "The real problem was a result of the pressure to flip my position from short to long, this broke my control.
"I absolutely lost control, I was no longer in control of the decisions around the trades we were doing."
The court has already heard how Adoboli worked for UBS's global synthetic equities division, buying and selling exchange traded funds (ETFs), which track different types of stocks, bonds or commodities such as metals.
He claims senior managers were fully aware of what he was doing and encouraged him to push the boundaries to make profits for the bank.
Yassine Bouhara, former co-head of equities at UBS, allegedly told Adoboli in an email: "You don't know what your limits are until you push the boundary so far that you receive a slap on the back of the wrist."
Answering questions by his defence barrister Paul Garlick QC, Ghanaian-born Adoboli said: "There were no secrets, there was no hiding, there was no holding back.
"We were told to go for it, we went for it. We were told to push the boundaries, so we pushed the boundaries. We were told you wouldn't know where the limit of the boundary was until you got a slap on the back of the wrist. We found that boundary, we found the edge, we fell off and I got arrested."
He also claimed that an alleged email to colleagues from a more senior trader, mocking his bearish position, contributed to his more aggressive approach.
"Everyone was laughing about it," he said.
Mr Garlick asked: "If you had remained bearish would any losses have followed from your trades?"
Adoboli replied: "If I had held on for one more day, just one more day, if I had just held on, those losses would never have happened."
The trial continues.