Rogue trader Leeson still up for a punt ‘with own money’
The ‘bete noire’ of the UK investment world – Nick Leeson – has resurfaced and confirmed in an interview with the BBC that he still plays the markets, albeit with his own money, and not at the levels that infamously brought down Barings Bank in the mid-’90s.
Leeson is now general manager of Irish football club Galway United and has been in the west of Ireland since 2005. However, he still found time to “dabble” in currency dealing with his own money, but would require authorisation to rejoin a bank to ply his former trade.
“Asking Nick Leeson to come back into the saving and investment community would be like asking Dracula to head up the Blood Transfusion Service,” said City analyst Colin Perry.
“Don’t forget that he single-handedly destroyed a City bank with a pedigree going back hundreds of years and although you can argue that his managers were equally culpable it would hardly engender confidence if anyone took him on now.”
Leeson was banged up in a Singapore prison for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of fraud. The saving and investment community was flabbergasted when he brought down Barings with highly leveraged currency dealings. The bank was subsequently sold to Dutch bank ING for £1.