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Soc Gen 'rogue trader' wants €4.9b in damages

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Photo: Frédéric Houmber
07:23 CET+01:00
French rogue trader Jerome Kerviel has said he was trying to render meaningless the 4.9 billion euros in damages he owes to Société Générale by seeking the same amount from the bank in a labour court.

Kerviel, convicted to three years in jail, said on RTL radio that he had filed a case in the Paris labour court seeking 4.9 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in damages from Société Générale.

He said the bank firing him in 2008 for gross misconduct had "implied that there was the intention on my part to destroy the company, which was never the case and which was proven" during his trial.

Kerviel was convicted of forgery and breach of trust for circumventing trading limits to amass 50 billion euros in open deals, which had threatened to bring down one of Europe's largest banks.

Kerviel had insisted that his managers knew what he was doing and turned a blind eye as long profits flowed in. The bank incurred the loss of nearly five billion euros when it quickly unwound Kerviel's trades before the market became aware.

Kerviel conceded the amount of damages he is seeking "is a bit ironic", saying he hopes a court analysis will show that he wasn't responsible for the losses the bank incurred.

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"I want that figure verified because I believe that it is not a Kerviel loss," said the ex-trader on Tuesday. Kerviel added he wasn't seeking to be reinstated at the bank.

An appeals court rejected last October Kerviel's attempt to overturn his conviction. He remains out of prison while waiting for his case to be reviewed by the Court of Cassation, France's top appeals court.

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