Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 10:48 UK

Rogue trader pins crisis on banks

Nick Leeson
Nick Leeson said there was a lack of understanding of financial markets

One of the most notorious rogue traders in global finance has blamed central banks and government for the current money market crisis.

Nick Leeson's illegal trading led to the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995.

He said the government and the Bank of England suffered from a "lack of understanding" of financial markets dating back over a decade.

Mr Leeson made the comments ahead of a speech at an anti-fraud conference in West Yorkshire later.

The former trader said: "The core, or the key to this problem is that you then have a central bank and a government that don't really understand the financial markets.

The core, or the key to this problem is that you then have a central bank and a government that don't really understand the financial markets
Former rogue trader Nick Leeson

"The government didn't see it coming.

"The central bank didn't see it coming. And you have to ask yourself, why?

"From my perspective, it's because they didn't understand the market and the impact that some of these products were going to have.

"You now entrust the same people to get you out of the situation. For me, that's foolish."

He said the banks "had pushed products at people, and everyone was now living with the consequences".

"You've gone through a sub-prime crisis. You've gone through people, you know, increasing their credit through credit cards and increasing their loans.

"Wherever you looked five or six years ago, nine years ago, there were adverts for loans across the newspapers and people were encouraged because there was a low interest rate and people were experiencing a feel-good factor, that's when you needed to control it."

Mr Leeson said the people best placed to find a way out of the current turmoil were those who have experience of facing crises in the past - like a former Conservative chancellor.

"There are people who've been through this kind of scandal - Norman Lamont.

"You have some of the biggest investors in the world who can garner all their experience and see what the best way to tackle it is.

"But governments acting in isolation are not going to be something that solves the current problem."

His rogue trading famously led to the collapse of Barings - the Queen's own bankers - when his dealings lost the bank more than 800 million.

He was subsequently jailed.

He will address the Yorkshire and Humberside Fraud Forum (YHFF) Conference, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.




RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific