James Moore: Don’t kick rogue trader Kweku Adoboli out — we should use him instead

JAmes Moore
Kweku Adoboli (pictured), the banking equivalent of an ethical hacker. Now would that be such a bad thing? says James Moore: Andrew Cowie, AFP/Getty Images

It looks like an open and shut case.

Rogue trader Kweku Adoboli was “a gamble or two away” from destroying UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank.

As it is he racked up losses of £1.4 billion through wildly reckless trading and was sentenced to seven years in jail for fraud.

With perfectly innocent British citizens having been deported through Theresa May’s atrocious “hostile environment policy”, why should we be worried about this man, whom the Home Office wants to deport to Ghana?

A sentence of four years is enough to be considered for deportation, and thousands have been. Many would argue that Adoboli, who has to report to the police at monthly intervals while he fights this, should be gone already. He’s a convicted criminal, that should be enough.

But wait just a moment.

For a start Adoboli hasn’t lived in Ghana since he was four, settling in Britain when he was 12, where he has lived for the majority of his life. There is a powerful, indeed compelling, case for treating people who come here as children like that differently.

Moreover, there wouldn’t seem to be much risk of his reoffending. Quite the reverse. Since being released he has given lectures and speeches to people ranging from students, to business leaders, on banking reform and how to prevent his actions from being repeated.

Ex-poachers can make for useful gamekeepers. Or, perhaps, consultant gamekeepers.

Kweku Adoboli, the banking equivalent of an ethical hacker. Now would that be such a bad thing?

It’s certainly a more constructive use of one’s time than trading on infamy à la Nick Leeson, the Barings rogue trader currently appearing on Celebrity Big Brother. But rules are rules in Britain. So Kweku’s gotta go.

Sometimes rules are stupid, and cruel, and need to be changed. Adoboli might not be the most deserving case, given the number of entirely innocent people who have been unjustly thrown out of this country.

But if he can play a role in changing the industry then that would be another service he will have done his adopted home country, paying his debt to society.

We’ve all put in for Fairburn’s bonus

Life’s good for Persimmon. The house builder has just posted a £516.3million profit for the six months to the end of June. “We believe we are well positioned to deliver further high quality sustainable growth,” says chief executive Jeff Fairburn.

With Britain in the midst of a housing shortage, and the Government’s Help to Buy scheme propping up earnings, who could argue?

The only thing that won’t carry on growing is boss Fairburn’s bonus, in the wake of the furore over him being handed the biggest payout in British corporate history.

But when your profits are fuelled by state largesse as Fairburn’s are, any bonus at all should still be the subject of debate.