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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Singapore Refuses Blame for Leeson Losses




SINGAPORE -- Singapore futures market officials struck back at Briton Nick Leeson on Wednesday for saying that they were ultimately responsible for his trading losses, which bankrupted Barings Bank and landed him in prison.


The Singapore International Monetary Exchange, or SIMEX, said its regulations during the Barings debacle were what "enabled all its other members and the exchange itself to surface from the incident completely unscathed."


SIMEX said it has tightened its trading regulations since Leeson, 32, brought down Britain's oldest bank by racking up more than $1 billion in losses from Barings' futures trading office in Singapore.


In an interview this week with London's Daily Mail newspaper, Leeson said SIMEX's "inadequate regulatory procedures" made his rogue trading possible.


Leeson, released from jail this month, also criticized SIMEX for giving him a trading license after British authorities refused to. SIMEX said Barings "supported Leeson's application with false information," and Leeson withheld information on his Singapore application.


Leeson was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in Singapore in 1995 for fraudulently covering his losses. He was released for good behavior after 3 1/2 years.


While he was in jail, his wife divorced him, and he underwent surgery for cancer. He was also the subject of a book and film and faces a court order freezing his assets on behalf of the former Barings group.