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13 June 2024

SocGen 'rogue trader' undergoing psychiatric tests

By Agencies


The French trader charged in a EUR4.9 billion (Dh26bn) scandal at Societe Generale has been ordered to undergo psychiatric tests by investigating judges, a legal source said on Saturday.

Jerome Kerviel, 31, has been in custody for the last month suspected of what Societe Generale says were unauthorised trades worth at least EUR50bn - more than the leading French bank's own capital.

He is charged with breach of trust, fabricating documents and illegally accessing computers, but escaped the more serious charge of fraud.

His examination by a psychiatrist is aimed at determining if Kerviel's judgement was affected during his actions, the source said, adding that the tests were fairly routine.

Kerviel told police during initial questioning that he found himself in a chain of events which he was powerless to escape. He also said he felt that colleagues looked down on him because he had not started his career as a trader.

While Kerviel has insisted he acted alone, he has suggested that his bosses knew he was dealing with huge sums of money but turned a blind eye as long as he was not in the red.

The scandal contributed to a EUR3.35bn (Dh18bn) loss for the bank in the fourth quarter of 2007.

An internal bank inquiry found that Kerviel's allegedly unauthorised trading had not been detected because of his sophisticated techniques, but it also pointed the finger at internal audit and risk control failures.

Legal sources said on Tuesday that Kerviel was seeking release on bail in a request to be examined on March 14. (AFP)