53 user 29 critic

Rogue Trader (1999)

The story of Nick Leeson, an ambitious investment broker who singlehandedly bankrupted one of the oldest and most important banks in Britain.


James Dearden


James Dearden, Nick Leeson (autobiography) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Cristian Solimeno ... Steve (as Christian Solimeno)
Ewan McGregor ... Nick Leeson
Lorna Pegler Lorna Pegler ... Girlfriend in Pub
David Fahm David Fahm ... Boyfriend in Pub
Tim McInnerny ... Tony Hawes
Cecil Chang Cecil Chang ... Old Custodian
Michelle Lee Michelle Lee ... Susi (as Sarah Liew)
Anna Friel ... Lisa Leeson
Michael Garner Michael Garner ... Alec Sims
Sharon Duce Sharon Duce ... Patsy Sims
Karen Lim Karen Lim ... Singapore Letting Agent
Pip Torrens ... Simon Jones
Tom Wu ... George Seow
Daniel York ... Henry Tan
Irene Ng Irene Ng ... Bonnie Lee


Ambitious, wide-eyed boy Nick Leeson (Ewan McGregor) is determined to rise in the world and be more than a simple bank clerk. When his employers, Barings Bank, offer him the opportunity to go to Jakarta, Indonesia to sort out a problem that nobody else wants, he seizes the opportunity with both hands. In Jakarta, he meets and marries Lisa (Anna Friel), and together they go to Singapore when the bank offers him the job of setting up their future options trading operation. To save money, the bank allows Nick to operate the floor trading and the back office facilities, and force him to employ cheap, unskilled staff. His first year of trading is a big success, and he makes large profits for the bank, even though he has illegally broken trading rules and secretly covered up losses. Given more freedom, even more money, and continuing unchecked, Nick starts to make losses, and again attempts to trade out of them, but this time he comes unstuck as his illegal trading generates even bigger ... Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Money isn't for greedy people See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Nick Leeson was reported to have taken a share of the seven million pounds sterling that this movie earned worldwide. See more »


In one of the club/bar scenes, Blur's "Song 2" is heard playing in the background. The events took place in 1995. "Song 2" was released in 1997. See more »


Tony Hawes: You're down for 450, aren't you? Your bonus? Only a week to go.
Nick Leeson: Sorry?
Tony Hawes: Have you thought about what you're going to do with it? Only a week to go.
Nick Leeson: [taps his glass and rises] Excuse me, I have an announcement to make. I know that some of you are worried about our exposure in the market and you're probably wondering about the identity of our mystery customer X. Well, the fact is he doesn't exist. We are the customer, Barings. And if you look properly at the five eights account, which is not a client ...
See more »


Features Dad's Army: No Spring for Frazer (1969) See more »


Money (That's What I Want)
Written by Berry Gordy (as Berry Gordy Jr), Janie Bradford
Performed by Barrett Strong
See more »

User Reviews

McGregor Bares All
13 October 2015 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Young English investment broker, Nick Leeson, distinguishes himself in his bank's Jakarta office and his reward is an assignment in Singapore, where he unwisely manages both the trading floor and the office operations. His first year is a big success with huge profits, despite some some questionable practices to retain an important client. However, he also establishes an 88888 account, which makes his employer, Baring Bank, into a customer, and he crosses the line again with forged documents to verify a large non-existent transaction. Based on a true story, "Rogue Trader" may confuse those whose vocabulary does not include puts and calls, options and futures, commodities and derivatives. Written and directed by James Deardon from Leeson's autobiography, the film uses extensive voice-over to share Leeson's thoughts and feelings as his illegal activities spiral out of control. Even Leeson seems stupefied and astounded at the magnitude of the damage he has wrought.

Ewan McGregor does well as Leeson, and, for those McGregor fans who want all the Ewan they can get, Deardon offers extended shots of the actor in shorts, bathing suits, completely nude, and bare-assed. Anna Fiel plays Leeson's wife, Lisa; she is passable in an undemanding role and exposes less flesh to the camera than her co-star. Drinking binges, euphoric highs, and emotional lows provide McGregor with a showcase for his talent; if only the film were worthy of him. "Rogue Trader" is not a bad film, but confusing at times, and narration is a lazy device. Filmed in Singapore where the story took place, the movie is a cut above TV fare, but only a small cut. Without McGregor the film would be less worthy of watching; with him, "Rogue Trader" is a passable take on a famous crime.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

25 June 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Rogue Trader See more »


Box Office


$12,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed