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“Fat finger” city trader wipes £250 billion off stocks while working from home

A city trader working from home triggered a £40 million loss for his company after typing an extra zero to a transfer.

The “fat finger” mistake by the Citigroup worker started a “flash crash” in European markets.

There was a knee-jerk reaction in Swedish stocks, wiping out £250 billion in minutes.

Citi is expected to take a £40 million hit on the erroneous transaction.

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The lender has admitted the mistake was the result of human error.

However, it did not question the fact the trader – now suspended – was working from home.

There are industry concerns about banks allowing traders to work remotely – and whether adequate controls and checks are in place.

Citi is still in talks with regulators and exchanges about the incident, which occurred over the May bank holiday weekend.

A flash crash is a vertiginous fall in asset prices and is often prompted by a trading mistake.

The extra zero by the trader caused Sweden’s OMX Stockholm 30 Index to plunge 8 per cent in just five minutes.

Most losses were recovered by the end of the trading day.

Other bourses, including those in Denmark, Norway, Germany, Italy, and France, also slumped but later recovered.

 

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