Banker 'thought he had magic touch'

Banbury Cake: Kweku Adoboli faces two counts of fraud and two of false accounting at Southwark Crown Court Kweku Adoboli faces two counts of fraud and two of false accounting at Southwark Crown Court

A City trader who gambled away £1.4 billion thought he had "the magic touch" but caused "chaos and disaster", a court has heard.

Kweku Adoboli, 32, exceeded his trading limits to try to get a bigger bonus and boost his ego, Southwark Crown Court was told.

He is accused of two counts of fraud and two counts of false accounting while working for Swiss bank UBS.

The charges relate to the period between October 2008 and last September.

Prosecuting, Sasha Wass QC said: "He is on trial because he lost his bank 2.3 billion US dollars (£1.4 billion). He fraudulently gambled it away. He also in doing so wiped around 10% or about 4.5 billion US dollars (£2.8 billion) off the bank's share price.

"He did all of this by exceeding his trading limits, by inventing fictitious deals to conceal this and then he lied to his bosses. Mr Adoboli's motive for this behaviour was to increase his bonus, his status within the bank, his job prospects and of course his ego. Like most gamblers, he believed he had the magic touch. Like most gamblers, when he lost, he caused chaos and disaster to himself and all of those around him."

Adoboli from Clark Street, Whitechapel, east London, is accused of losing the money in Britain's biggest alleged banking fraud. Wearing a grey suit with a white shirt and purple tie, he was given permission to sit outside the dock with his legal team.

He 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.

UBS discovered in September last year that Adoboli's deals had caused the bank a loss of 2.3 billion US dollars (£1.4 billion), and "his fraud had unravelled", the court was told.

The trial continues.

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