Nick Leeson: Learning the lessons from Barings Bank
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Barings Bank, one of the oldest names in the City of London, collapsed because nobody in the bank’s hierarchy had the knowledge or the inclination to challenge the trader whose unauthorised deals brought the bank down.
Pointing to a lack of internal checks which allowed him to operate as he did, Nick hopes that other financial institutions will learn from his story and ensure compliance from their traders
Nick Leeson will speak about risk management, compliance, corporate responsibility and governance and about his experience of the collapse of Barings Bank and being imprisoned in Singapore.
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Nick Leeson, the “rogue trader” that broke Barings Bank is one of the most sought-after speakers on the global speaking circuit. The collapse of Barings Bank, and Nick Leeson's role in it, remains one of the most spectacular debacles in modern financial history. How could one trader, an ambitious 25 years old investment broker, bring down the banking empire that had funded the Napoleonic Wars and counted HM The Queen as one of its private customers?
The young gambler who found himself sucked into a terrifying spiral of loss was a working-class boy from Watford, north London, who lived out of his depth, high in an upper-class world, until his unchecked gambling caused the downfall of Barings Bank in 1995 and caused chaos in the Singaporean money market.
More recent cases such as Allied Irish Bank, Societe Generale (2008) and UBS (2011) simply highlight that loopholes haven't been closed. In an exclusive interview for the BBC with Huw Edwards, Nick commented "I think rogue trading is probably a daily occurrence amongst the financial markets. Not enough focus goes on those risk management areas, those compliance areas, those settlement areas, that can ultimately save them money."
Despite more audacious and larger scale incidents of rogue trading since the collapse of Barings, Nick Leeson remains the most infamous and high-profile rogue trader and one of the world's most sought-after keynote speakers within the corporate sector. The late Sir David Frost, who intrviewed Nick whilst in the Frankfurt prison, optioned the rights to his story and in 1999 the Hollywood film “Rogue Trader” was released as a dramatisation of his story and starred Ewan McGregor (Star Wars, Trainspotting) with Anna Friel (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pushing Daisies) portraying his wife at the time.
These events with Nick Leeson represent a unique opportunity for people to meet and question the main protagonist in the largest and most significant financial scandal of the 20th century and gain his personal insight into the current economy and the world today.
Photo Credit: Andrew Downes
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Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen Business School, Garthdee Road AB10 7QE
Lindsey Stewart CA
Tel: 01224 263831