A drama exploring the collapse of Barings Bank and the man at the center of the scandal, trader Nick Leeson, is in the works at All3Media-backed Story Films.
The four-part drama “The Man Who Broke The Bank” (working title) for an as yet unnamed major U.K. broadcaster, charts the meteoric rise and fall of the plasterer’s son from Watford who secretly hid losses of more than £800 million (then $1.4 billion) in the early to mid-1990s in Singapore, leading to the collapse of one of Britain’s oldest merchant banks.
It is based on research from multiple books and archive and archive and first person accounts, including recent dialogue with Leeson himself, by BAFTA winning writer Tony Marchant (“The Mark of Cain,” “Holding On”).
Story Films’ recent true life dramas include recent acclaimed series “The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe” for ITV, which dramatized the story of infamous conman John Darwin, and “Deceit” for Channel 4, based on the case of the murder of Rachel Nickell.
Story Films’ co-founder, Dave Nath, said: “Tony Marchant’s scripts tell a gripping tale of ‘90s hubris, of squandered talent, fear, fraud and disgrace. We couldn’t have hoped for a more talented writer to tell this incredible story in such a dramatic and nuanced way.”
All3Media International will be distributing the series.
Louise Pedersen, CEO of All3Media International, said: “There is a great appetite in the global market for true crime dramas, particularly those that offer a fresh take on the true crime narrative. Most recently we’ve seen this with Story Films’ acclaimed series ‘The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe’ so we’re delighted to have Story Films once again at the helm of this incredibly compelling, unique true crime story, which we feel sure will appeal to our international clients and their audiences.”
In 1996, Leeson wrote an autobiography, “Rogue Trader,” which was made into a 1999 film of the same name, starring Ewan McGregor and Anna Friel. Leeson and the Barings collapse was also the subject of 1996 TV documentary “Inside Story Special: £830,000,000 – Nick Leeson and the Fall of the House of Barings.”
In 2005, Leeson published “Back from the Brink: Coping with Stress,” which continues his story from “Rogue Trader.”