French say bank, not trader, to blame in trading scandal
Poll showed only 13 percent of the French feel rogue trader Jerome Kerviel is to blame for multi-billion-euro losses at Societe Generale while half say bank management is at fault.
PARIS, February 1, 2008 - A poll released Friday showed only 13 percent of
the French feel rogue trader Jerome Kerviel is to blame for multi-billion-euro
losses at Societe Generale while half say bank management is at fault.
Asked who bears the greatest responsibility for the scandal, 50 percent
pointed the finger at Societe Generale's management and 27 percent faulted the
financial markets regulator AMF.
Kerviel was seen as the culprit by 13 percent, slightly more than the 10
percent of respondents who said they did not know, according to the poll by
the OpinionWay firm for Le Figaro newspaper and LCI television.
Some 50 percent of respondents said Societe Generale chairman Daniel Bouton
should resign compared to 30 percent who felt he should keep his job.
Kerviel, 31, is the only person to have been charged in the scandal over
the loss of 4.8 billion euros (7.1 billion dollars) at Societe Generale,
France's third biggest bank by market capitalisation.
He is accused of falsifying documents and unauthorised computer access but
has been released under judicial supervision.
The junior trader has told investigators during questioning that his bosses
must have been aware of his dealings because of the profits he was generating.
Societe Generale said the trader had held positions worth about 50 billion
euros when he was caught -- a figure well in excess of the bank's market value
of 35.9 billion euros.
First employed in the middle and back offices as part of the support staff,
Kerviel had moved up to the front office in 2005. There, he was trading
futures on European share indices, effectively betting on the future direction
of the stock market.