Fallen UBS Trader Kweku Adoboli Seeks Redemption In Ghana

Fallen UBS Trader Kweku Adoboli Seeks Redemption In Ghana

UBS Kweku Adoboli
Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, who was convicted of a $2.3B loss at the Swiss bank, is planning to kick start Ghana’s mortgage-backed bond market. This Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 file photo shows former trader Kweku Adoboli leaving Southwark Crown Court in London for a lunch break from his trial at the court. Image: AP Photo/Sang Tan, File

Former UBS Group AG trader Kweku Adoboli struggled to avoid deportation back to Ghana, the country of his birth, from the U.K. after he was convicted of a $2.3 billion loss at the Swiss bank.

In a case that rippled through Zurich-based UBS and London’s City financial center, Kweku was convicted for covering up bad bets during July and August 2011 amid a market sell-off.

After being jailed in 2012, Kweku was extradited to Ghana in November 2018. He stayed mostly indoors and struggling with depression in the first nine months, but support from his family and friends helped him settle in Tema, after being in the U.K. since he was 12 years old.

“I took responsibility because basically nobody else wanted to,” Kweku said of the UBS conviction. “I am still at the beginning of a journey. The day when I deliver my first profit to someone, that will be a good day.”

The 39-year-old plans to kick start Ghana’s mortgage-backed bond market.

“Our job now is to look for ways to expand banks’ balance sheet, to create a mortgage market that would allow us to increase demand-side funding for housing,” said Kweku.

After the first year of starting operations, Kweku estimates that the platform he plans to develop could accumulate $100 million in mortgage-backed securities. He said that banks would also be asked to join as shareholders.

The Ghanaian government estimates a shortage of 2 million homes in a country of 30 million. However, the middle class is expanding due to the average economic growth rate of 7 percent over the past three years.

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In order to finance the venture’s accreditation and necessary software, Kweku is trying to raise $6 million from investors. He plans to launch the Ghanaian venture in May.