Société Générale seeks to recoup losses in Kerviel trial
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French bank Société Générale told a Paris court on Wednesday that it wants 4.9 billion euros in compensation from former employee Jérôme Kerviel over his alleged rogue trading. The bank blames Kerviel for losing that amount following unauthorised trades in 2008.
The 33-year-old faces up to five years in prison and a fine of 375,000 euros if he is convicted of a breach of trust, forgery and entering false data.
Société Générale’s lawyer Jean Veil said it is “obvious” that Kerviel would not pay the amount demanded by the bank, saying that the figure was decided upon for “simplicity”.
Kerviel has admitted exceeding trading limits but says it was a practice that his superiors didn’t question as long as earnings kept coming in.
On Tuesday, the former head of the bank said that the trading scandal was a "catastrophe" brought about by Kerviel’s "lies."
"Regardless of the losses or the amounts, it was a catastrophe in itself... because confidence was lost," Daniel Bouton told the court.
Bouton also accused Kerviel of continuing his gambling in order to try to cover his tracks.
"On the one hand he was sending text messages to his broker and friend saying 'I am in trouble,' and on the other he was continuing to increase the position that was potentially fatal for his employer.”
Kerviel was given his last chance to speak after Bouton’s testimony. He reiterated his belief that he was "someone who had tried to do his job in the interests of the bank."
The trial is set to end on Friday but a verdict is not expected for several weeks.
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