A MEMORABILIA trader hopes a jacket worn by a rogue banker whose fraudulent deals brought down a major bank could be sold for more than £20,000.

Marc McLennan, who runs Sport and Star Autographs, based at Basildon’s Eastgate Centre, is sounding out potential buyers for the jacket, which was once worn by Nick Leeson.

The disgraced banker left the jacket behind as he hastily fled Singapore in 1995, by which time his unauthorised speculative trading had led to losses of hundreds of millions of pounds.

The broker’s fraudulent activity was almost wholly responsible for the collapse of his employers, Barings Bank, which went bust just a month after Leeson left Singapore.

Leeson later handed his distinctive yellow-and-black trading jacket, including the Barings name, toafriend, a Southendbased businessman.

The owner has now contacted Mr McLennan with a view to finding a buyer for the unique piece of financial history.

Mr McLennan said: “Nick is a long-term associate of mine, so when his close friend said he wanted to sell the jacket, Nick told him, ‘go to Marc’.

“There are maybe only eight or nine of these jackets in the world, but this is the only one Nick actually wore.”

In order to attract interested buyers, Mr McLennan contacted Leeson to confirm the jacket was actually his.

In a letter, the disgraced banker wrote: “This, undoubtedly is the trading jacket that I wore on February 23, 1995, discarded in my apartment as I very hastily fled Singapore.

“It is the only trading jacket thatIcan confirm as having been owned and used by myself.

“By this stage I was spending no time at all in the office, arriving on the trading floor as late as possible and leaving as soon as the market closed at 2.15pm and disappearing.

“The losses were accelerating and the questions about my illegal trading account mounting.

“I left the trading floor wearing my jacket, returned home, told my wife that we needed to leave quickly and packed two suitcases.

“While there have been a number of jackets that have been either auctioned or sold over the years, these have all been the jackets of other members of Baring Futures.”

Leeson’s wife returned to Singapore in 1996 to retrieve his belongings.

Basildon Standard:

BANK COLLAPSED WITHIN WEEKS

LONDON based Barings was the world’s second oldest merchant bank when Nick Leeson’s activity led to its collapse in 1995.

Leeson joined the bank in 1989 and was appointed general manager of a new operation at the Singapore stock exchange three years later.

He soon started making unauthorised trading gambles on the stock market without the knowledge of his bosses, initially making £10million profit for Barings.

But his luck soon changed and Leeson tried to conceal his losses within Barings’ accounts.

By the end of 1994, the account’s losses had grown to £208million, with Leeson fearing he was about to be exposed.

He left a note to colleagues, saying “I’m sorry”, when he fled Singapore for Malaysia on February 23, 1995.

The losses from Leeson’s activity eventually reached £827million, and Barings was declared insolvent just three days later.

The rogue banker was eventually tracked down in Frankfurt, Germany, where he was arrested and extradited back to Singapore.

Leeson pleaded guilty to deceiving bank auditors, cheating the stock exchange and forging documents.

He was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison, but was released in 1999 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which he later survived.