Famous last words

It’s probably no surprise to anyone that Oswald Gruebel, the CEO of Swiss bank UBS, quit his job on Saturday in the wake of the rogue trading scandal at the bank’s London office.

That alleged crookery looks like will cost the bank its anticipated profit for at least Q3, no bonuses for employees who would normally expect them, and a hole in the balance sheet of $2.3 billion (£1.5 billion / €1.7 billion) or more.

So the CEO fell on his sword. He’s quoted in UBS’ September 24 press release as saying:

[…] Oswald Grübel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident. It is testimony to his uncompromising principles and integrity.

This is the same man who was reported on September 18 saying:

[…] "I’m responsible for everything that happens at the bank," Mr Gruebel told Swiss Sunday newspaper, der Sonntag. "if you ask me whether I feel guilty, then I would say no."

That statement looked odd when I first read it. Maybe something got lost in translation, I thought (as did others). It reads like responsibility, yes, for the consequences, no.

Reality bit.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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