Irish mediation firm hires rogue trader Nick Leeson

LONDON (AFP) - Nick Leeson, the British trader whose losses toppled Barings Bank in the 1990s, has joined Irish mediation group GDP Partnership to help borrowers negotiate with banks in the wake of the nation's property crash, it said in a statement.

"Nick Leeson today joins GDP Partnership as a principal of their Dublin office," the group said in a statement posted by Mr Leeson on his Twitter account.

It added: "Leeson, famed for his role in the collapse of Barings Bank, this week will be joining the practice and ... will be instrumental in providing this mediation service to anyone who is struggling to find a solution with their bank across the country."

Mr Leeson's risk-taking deals bankrupted Britain's Barings Bank in 1995 after losing US$1.3 billion (S$1.6 billion) on bond derivatives.

GDP Partnership added that Mr Leeson, who has lived in Ireland for the past ten years, was "delighted" to join and would use his experience to help debt-plagued borrowers.

"I've faced into a number of difficult situations in the past and ultimately seen them turn for the better," Mr Leeson said.

"It is often difficult to see the solution but rest assured there is always one available." The rogue trader was given a jail term of six-and-a-half years in Singapore for illegally concealing trading losses and served four years of his sentence.

Ireland was bailed out in late 2010 when the global financial crisis, a domestic property market meltdown and massive debts left it on the brink of collapse.

Dublin was rescued by an 85-billion-euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

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