A former foreign exchange trader at Lloyds Banking Group has accused the bank of making him redundant because he was a whistleblower after he raised concerns about the unit, including about a currency trade for supermarket Tesco.
According to evidence presented to a London employment tribunal, Paul Carlier claims his redundancy from the bailed-out bank in September 2014 was because he had “challenged the business over various practices” and made “protected disclosures”.
“I was targeted. I was selected and that was it, and everything that happened thereafter was window-dressing to make it fit,” Carlier said as he cross-examined Anders Henrikson, the bank’s head of foreign exchange product.
Carlier, who is representing himself and is yet to give evidence, had a £175,000 salary and received a £50,000 bonus, according to Henrikson’s witness statement.
As Carlier’s case opened, another former Lloyds employee who had been bringing a case for unfair dismissal against the bank withdrew his case. Andrew Reed had submitted rates for Libor, the interest rate over which banks around the world have been fined after they were found to have manipulated it. Lloyds was fined £226m last year for rate-rigging offences.
According to Henrikson’s witness statement, Carlier sent emails after being informed of his redundancy that were “lengthy, frequently offensive in tone and content and repetitive”. They were initially blocked by the bank’s firewall because of their content.
On the trade for Tesco, the size and nature of which was not disclosed, Carlier raised concerns after it was partially completed in July 2014. Henrikson’s witness statement said: “It is important to appreciate that colleagues in sales have no mandate to take risk or trade in their own account. The suggestion by Paul that the sales desk was going to buy back [the amount of the order that had not yet been confirmed to the client at a lower price to make a profit] was therefore not feasible unless Paul or another trader with a risk mandate would have facilitated such a transaction.”
Henrikson said the issues raised by Carlier were general. They also included matters relating to a trading system known as ProTrade.
“Paul was vocal in expressing his opinions on the spot [foreign exchange] desk but I did not regard him as a whistleblower,” said Henrikson. He also rejected a claim by Carlier that “he felt intimated, bullied and harassed by me”.
According to Henrikson, Carlier also raised issues about his own authorisation with the City regulator. During the hiring process in 2011, Lloyds discovered that Carlier had a number of county court judgments against him.
Lloyds said: “As the employment tribunal is ongoing, it would be
inappropriate for us to comment in detail, other than to say that the
allegations are without merit and we are defending them vigorously.”
The hearing continues.
This article was written by Jill Treanor, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 16th September 2015 17.35 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010