Timeline of events in SocGen rogue trader case

Publish date: 19-03-2008
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Jerome Kerviel, blamed by French bank Societe Generale for the world's biggest rogue trading scandal, left jail on Tuesday after winning a legal battle against detention.

Following is a timeline of events in the scandal that caused $7.6 billion of losses at the French bank:

2007 - SocGen junior trader Jerome Kerviel starts building up large positions. As his losses mount he tries to cover up his positions.

November 2007 - The Eurex derivatives exchange questions SocGen about Kerviel's trading activities. This is revealed by a Paris prosecutor on Jan 28, 2008.

January 19/20, 2008 - SocGen senior executives begin investigation and senior management question the trader.

January 21 - Management decides to liquidate Kerviel's positions. Equity markets plunge that day, with many stock indexes suffering their worst one-day drop since 9/11.

January 24 - SocGen issues a statement saying it has uncovered a fraud resulting in losses of 4.9 billion euros.

January 25 - French police carry out searches of the home of Kerviel and of the headquarters of SocGen. He is taken into police custody the next day.

January 27 - SocGen says the trader ended up with a position of 50 billion euros which SocGen decided to unwind from Jan 21-23.

January 28 - Paris prosecutor says Kerviel admitted hiding his activities from superiors but added that Kerviel said other traders played fast and loose with bank rules.

-- Paris prosecutor reveals that in November 2007, the Eurex exchange had alerted SocGen to suspicions it had concerning Kerviel.

-- Kerviel is released under judicial supervision.

January 30 - A SocGen board meeting decides that bank chief Daniel Bouton and his deputy Philippe Citerne should stay on.

-- Bouton appears on France 2 evening news saying the bank has enough capital to stay independent.

February 4 - Lagarde says that France favors a friendly approach if a merger were needed for the bank.

February 5 - Kerviel says he will not be "turned into a scapegoat of Societe Generale."

February 8 - Kerviel is jailed.

February 20 - An internal investigation into the massive trading loss finds controls at the bank lacked depth.

February 21 - SocGen confirms a record fourth-quarter loss of 3.35 billion euros ($4.93 billion).

February 25 - Bouton says he will continue to lead the bank despite having offered his resignation twice.

March 12 - Police arrest an employee from a SocGen trading room as part of their investigation.

March 18 - Kerviel wins a legal battle against detention and leaves a Paris jail after five weeks in custody. Under the terms of his conditional release, there are strict limits on his movements and contacts.

(Sources: Reuters; SocGen, French police, Paris prosecutor, statements)


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