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Risk management practices under further scrutiny at UBS

Sep 30, 2011 Mike Garretson

New evidence has surfaced showing critical errors on the part of UBS bank to curb rogue trading practices, credit decisions and excessive risk taking. A UBS executive accused of risk management failures was moved from London to Zurich, Switzerland, as many as three years ago, despite scrutiny by British financial regulators and a possible fine. In 2009, Britain's Financial Services Authority levied a $12.5 million fine against UBS for failing to prevent traders in the wealth management sector from making dozens of unauthorized trades a day with funds from customer accounts, according to Bloomberg. The accused, John Pottage, is blamed for overseeing those risky exchanges. Pottage was mandated to "take reasonable steps to ensure the right systems and controls were in place and to take dutiful care over the running of the business," Richard Everett, a former FSA senior legal adviser told the source. "It's a question of what constitutes reasonable steps here." The episode pales in comparison to the recent arrest of UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, who has been charged with fraud and false accounting to cover up more than $2 billion in losses.