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Ex UBS trader Adoboli denies fraud charges

Tags: UBS

The former UBS trader accused of unauthorized deals that cost the Swiss bank $2.3 billion US pleaded not guilty to four fraud and false accounting charges in a London court on Monday.

Kweku Adoboli, 31, was charged in September in connection with one of the world's biggest cases of alleged "rogue trading."

The losses shook the Swiss bank, leading to the resignation of former chief executive Oswald Gruebel and a shake-up of its investment arm to cut its exposure to risk.

The trial is expected to shed light on the bank's management, traders and risk controls.

Adoboli, who faces a maximum 10-year jail sentence if found guilty, spoke only to confirm his name and reply "not guilty" to all the charges when they were read out to him at a packed Southwark Crown Court.

Judge Alistair McCreath remanded Adoboli in custody and set the start of the trial for September 3.

"An earlier trial would be simply not possible," he said.

Adoboli, the British-educated son of a retired United Nations official from Ghana, he was arrested in London on September 15 and charged a day later.

At his last hearing on December 20, his lawyers said he had changed legal teams because he was unhappy with the advice he had received. That meant he had been unable to enter a meaningful plea, his new defense lawyer Paul Garlick told the court at the time.

Adoboli, who worked as a director of exchange traded funds, spent Christmas in prison after the hearing was adjourned to give his lawyers more time to work on the case.

UBS said last September that unauthorized trading in its investment division lost the bank $2.3 billion pounds, rocking an industry already trying to cope with the euro zone debt crisis and a global slowdown.

The Swiss bank came close to collapse during the 2008 financial crisis because of its exposure to bad loans in the mortgage market. It cut thousands of jobs and received a state bailout.

The bank's recovery was then threatened by uncertainty over a deal between Switzerland and the U.S. government designed to clamp down on tax evasion.

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