What makes a City trader go rogue?

The traits banks look for when hiring new traders are the very same ones that make them likely to go rogue, a Chartered Psychologist has said.

Occupational psychologist Kim Stephenson, author of the recently published Taming the Pound, told the news agency Reuters that by recruiting people who are super-competitive, steely calm under pressure, motivated by money and willing to take risks, banks may be selecting exactly those who are most liable to push risk too far.

"If we say to be a trader you have got to be aggressive and prepared to take risks and we have reward systems that are all about rewarding that sort of person, then there are going to be people who will end up rogue trading,” he said.

"You are putting people in that position who are more likely than average to do it."

In the latest example of a trader accused of illegal activities, London-based trader Kweku Adoboli was charged with fraud and false accounting that a Swiss bank claims has cost it (£1.44bn).

share