Outsourcing failure blamed for $2.3b loss by UBS trader

Tags: Companies

Banking giant fined £29.7m for not preventing unauthorised trading

Key controls for “detection of suspicious trading activity” failed at an India outsourcing unit, contributing to $2.3-billion loss caused by a rogue trader of global banking giant UBS, a joint probe by British and Swiss regulators has found.

This is the third instance when outsourcing of key oversight jobs by global banks (British giants HSBC and Standard Chartered being the other two) to India has come under the regulatory scanner abroad for ineffective controls against suspicious financial transactions.

UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) fined UBS £29.7 million (about Rs 265 crore) for failing to prevent large-scale unauthorised trading in this case, while Swiss regulator FINMA (Financial Market Supervisory Authority) also said it has found serious risk management deficiencies and major control failures at the bank.

In its probe report, FINMA said that UBS’ back office operations team was responsible for ensuring timely confirmation of deferred-settlement trades, identified through “a specific report maintained by an outsourcing provider based in India (the ‘T+14 report’)”.

The probe found that the bank’s online trade supervision system SCP (Supervisory Control Portal) and the ‘T+14’ report were key controls for the detection of suspicious trading activity, but both proved to be ineffective.

“The failures of these controls serve to illustrate poor organisation and risk management within UBS,” FINMA said.

FSA and FINMA jointly initiated a probe in September 2011 after it came to the light that a London-based trader of Swiss banking major had caused substantial losses totalling $2.3 billion (about Rs 13,000 crore) due to unauthorised trading on the bank's Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) desk.


  • All the debates are glossing over the key question if children are eating healthy food

    For some time now, we have been strapped in noodle debates. First Maggie noodles and now our own swadeshi noodles that Baba Ramdev is making.


Stay informed on our latest news!


Sarthak Raychaudhuri

vice-president, HR, Asia South Whirlpool of India

GV Nageswara Rao

MD & CEO, IDBI Federal Life

Timothy Moe

Goldman Sachs


Amita Sharma

Smart cities for the smart citizens

The 21st century has been spoken of as the urban ...

Zehra Naqvi

Baby and you

Every person who’s had a chance to be a parent ...

Bubbles Sabharwal

Women of the world, unite for a change

Last week I attended the Women in the World forum ...


William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture