Jérôme Kerviel

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Jérôme Kerviel
Jerome Kerviel.jpg
Occupation Trader
Employer Societe Generale (formerly)
Location France

Jérôme Kerviel became known worldwide as the "rogue trader" blamed for the 4.9-billion-euro bank fraud at Société Générale - one of the largest frauds in financial history.


Kerviel joined Société Générale in 2000 working in their compliance department.

By January of 2008, he was a 31-year-old trader who had been on the trading desk since 2005. After he was discovered to have repeatedly made fictitious trades, SocGen suspended Kerviel's trading privileges and filed a court complaint against him, accusing him of falsifying bank documents, using falsified documents, and unauthorized computer access.[1]

Kerviel was sentenced to three years in prison in 2010 after amassing €50bn in hidden trades leading up to the financial crisis. The positions cost SocGen €4.9bn to unwind and nearly caused the bank to collapse. He was also ordered to repay the money the bank lost.[2] He was charged with forgery, breach of trust and unauthorized computer use.[3]

He was released in September 2014, with an electronic bracelet, after spending less than five months in prison.[4]

After years of appeals by Kerviel, France’s highest court in 2014 upheld the original court decision and found him alone criminally responsible for the losses. However, the judge said the lower courts had not fully taken into account possible oversight failures by SocGen when they ordered Kerviel to pay €4.9 billion in damages, leading to a civil case about how much Kerviel should pay the bank back.[5] In September 2016, Kerviel's fine of €4.9 billion was cut to €1 million by a French civil court.[6]

Kerviel won an unfair dismissal case in 2016 against SocGen, in which a French tribunal ordered the bank to pay him €450,000 in damages.

Kerviel has continued to maintain that his superiors at the bank when what he was doing and deliberately turned a blind-eye because he was so profitable. SocGen has said it was not aware of his actions.


Kerviel graduated with a Bachelor's in Finance from the University of Nantes. He graduated from University Lumière Lyon 2 with a Master's in Finance in 2000.