February 6, 2009 / 5:23 AM / 10 years ago

Ex-trader Kerviel tells radio he doesn't seek fame

PARIS (Reuters) - Jerome Kerviel, blamed by French bank Societe Generale for the trading scandal that cost it billions of euros, told French radio on Friday that he did not want to become a celebrity.

“I have absolutely no desire to become famous,” Kerviel told RTL radio. The interview was made available on RTL’s website (www.rtl.fr).

Nick Leeson, the British banker whose trading losses caused the collapse of Barings bank in 1995, has since carved out a career as a media pundit. Leeson was also the subject of a film called “Rogue Trader,” starring Ewan McGregor.

Kerviel, 32, said contrary to media speculation, he had not been contacted about any film roles based on his story.

Last year, SocGen unveiled 4.9 billion euros ($6.39 billion) of losses which it said were caused by unauthorized deals carried out by Kerviel, then a junior trader at the bank.

Despite being eclipsed by later scandals in 2008, such as the collapse of Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers and an alleged $50 billion fraud by U.S. financier Bernard Madoff, Kerviel has stayed in the media spotlight in France.

Last month, French newspaper Le Parisien devoted its entire front page to him.

Kerviel was freed from prison last March after an appeal against his detention, but remains under formal investigation for breach of trust, computer abuse and falsification.

Looking back at the episode, Kerviel said he had been a “stupid fool” but added: “My mum still loves me.”

($1=.7672 Euro)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Katie Nguyen

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