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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 18:02 GMT
Rogue Trader: Timeline of events
The train of events behind the alleged fraud of billions of euros at French bank Societe Generale.

Jerome Kerviel, the reported rogue trader
Jerome Kerviel, the reported rogue trader

28 January

Jerome Kerviel is placed under formal investigation. A Paris prosecutor asks for preliminary charges of forgery, breach of trust and fraud to be filed against him.

26 January

French financial police begin questioning Mr Kerviel at their headquarters in Paris.

Societe Generale gives regulatory authorities further details of the alleged fraud and the measures taken to correct it.

25 January

French police search Mr Kerviel's home in Paris and visit the Societe Generale headquarters.

24 January

SocGen issues its first public statement outlining "an exceptional fraud" at the bank. It claims the trader was acting alone and his supervisors would be leaving the company.

Trading in the bank's shares are temporarily suspended at the bank's request and close down 4%.

The bank also writes off 2.05bn euros (1.5bn) because of exposure to the US sub-prime market.

23 January

After trading to close Kerviel's position is completed, SocGen calculates its final total loss is 4.9bn euros (3.7bn).

Christian Noyer, Governor of the Bank of France, informs the French government.

SocGen's Board of Directors rejects Chairman Daniel Bouton's offer of resignation.

22 January

US stock markets reopen after Monday's public holiday and start to fall sharply. The Federal Reserve unexpectedly cuts interest rates by 0.75% to 3.5%, helping stabilise the market. The Fed says it was not informed about the activities of SocGen.

21 January

SocGen begins to unwind what it calls the "fraudulent position" when European markets reopen on Monday. This process takes three days and accounts for up to 8% of all trades on the Eurostoxx, Dax and FTSE futures indices during this time.

European stock markets suffer their most severe falls since the attacks of 11 September 2001.

20 January

In the morning, SocGen's investigation team calculates the total exposure is 50bn euros (37bn).

Daniel Bouton, SocGen's Chairman, informs the Governor of Bank of France.

In the afternoon, Mr Bouton tells a meeting of SocGen's Audit Committee he has decided to close Mr Kerviel's trading position as soon as possible and will not make any public announcements until this has happened.

Mr Bouton then informs the General Secretary of the French financial regulator, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF).

By this time Mr Kerviel is suspended pending dismissal procedures.

19 January

SocGen claims Mr Kerviel admits to "unauthorised acts", including creating fictitious trades.

18 January

Suspicions are aroused about trading activity in the previous week. SocGen creates a team to investigate and questions Mr Kerviel.


Mr Kerviel becomes a trader in the arbitrage department, trading European stock futures.

Arbitrage involves buying financial instruments in one portfolio and at the same time selling similar instruments in another. Profits or losses are made on the differences between the values of what is bought and sold.


Jerome Kerviel starts work at Societe General, working in a number of roles, where he learns about the bank's processing and control procedures.

Police seize computers used by Jerome Kerviel

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