A former UBS trader behind the biggest loss in British banking history is expected to be deported to Ghana this week after losing his appeal to remain in the UK.
Kweku Adoboli was convicted of fraud in 2012 after losing more than £1 billion for the Swiss bank.
The 38-year-old spent four years in prison after making by making “off book trades” which led to 10,000 job cuts and the axing of its chief executive. He was charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position, a case that was described by police as the biggest case of fraud in UK history”.
A spokesperson for Adoboli said that the Home Office intends to carry out the deportation “on or soon after September 10”.
Since his release, Adoboli has become a whistleblower, educating audiences, from students to business executives, on banking reform.
Speaking this weekend at his home in West Lothian shortly before he was sent to Dungavel immigration removal centre, Adoboli told The Times newspaper that risky trading was “an open secret” among his former peers who are now senior city traders.
“A head of trading for an investment bank said to me, ‘I’m really worried, Kweku, that one of the unintended consequences of some of the regulatory things that have been put in place is that it is pushing my traders to implement systems like the one you had at UBS’,” he told the BBC. “What the regulators have actually asked the banks to do is to replicate, exactly, the system that we had at UBS for which I went to prison.”
In June, Adoboli lost an appeal to block his deportation, putting an end to his legal battle.
The former trader’s supporters have argued that his efforts to prevent similar crimes, in addition to the fact that he is non-violent and at low-risk of reoffending, mean he should be granted permission to stay.
Adoboli has been living in Scotland with friends and was detained last Monday when he made his fortnightly check-in at a police station in Livingston.
Although born in Ghana, Adoboli has not lived there since the age of four and describes himself as British, having lived in the UK since the age of 12.
His deportation comes as part of the Home office’s tough rules on immigration, which stipulate that foreign citizens who have served jail sentences in excess of four years are automatic candidates for removal from the UK.
Kweku has accused the Home Office of racism in a BBC Scotland interview published on 3 September. “The fact that I was born in a different country and I have different colour skin became part of the labelling process,” he said.
“It was no longer Kweku Adoboli, who went to Yorkshire at the age of 12, became head boy of his school, went to Nottingham University, contributed to the student’s union, became campus brand ambassador for UBS…”
“It was ‘Ghanian-born rogue trader Adoboli’. This ostracisation process – that is racism.”
Last month, Adoboli’s MSP Andy Wightman announced on social media that he had written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, stating that the former trader is “engaged in work to drive systemic and cultural change within the UK financial services industry,” and requesting that Javid intervene on the former trader’s behalf.
Adoboli’s lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie tweeted: “Thousands think Kweku should stay. No humanity in deporting a man who has lived in the UK for 26/38 years, who poses no threat to anyone and whose social and community work helps society. Time for the policy and law to be challenged, robustly, if Kweku is deported.”
McKenzie is reportedly preparing a renewed claim that she plans to lodge with the Home Office later on today.
The Home Office has been contacted for a statement.