French bank seeks 4.9 billion euros from Kerviel

23rd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

French bank Societe Generale on Wednesday told a court it wants 4.9 billion euros in compensation from former employee Jerome Kerviel after his alleged rogue trading cost it that amount.

Kerviel is blamed by Societe Generale, one of Europe's biggest banks, for losing it 4.9 billion euros (7.1 billion dollars at the time) in early 2008 through unauthorised trades.

The 33-year-old faces up to five years in jail and a fine of 375,000 euros if convicted by the court in Paris of breach of trust, forgery and entering false data into computers.

The bank decided to seek the sum of 4.9 billion euros in compensation for the sake of "simplicity," Societe Generale's lawyer Jean Veil told the court on Wednesday.

Kerviel has admitted regularly exceeding trading limits and logging false transactions to cover his gambles, but says this was common practice and that his bosses turned a blind eye as long as earnings were high.

The bank has admitted failings in its controls, for which it was fined four million euros in July 2008, but it insisted at the trial that managers could not have tracked all Kerviel's trades when he logged false data to cover them.

© 2010 AFP

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