Perry Stimpson, a former currency trader at Citigroup, brought his claim for unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal after he was summarily dismissed in November 2014 on allegations that he had been involved with rate rigging at the bank – what was known as the “Libor scandal”.
Mr Stimpson, who is representing himself in the case and whose claim is being heard at the East London Employment Tribunal this week, alleges that his dismissal was unfair as he was dismissed prior to the conclusion of an investigation by Citigroup and, further, on the basis that what he was dismissed for was standard practice across the industry. He claims that some of his colleagues used electronic messaging tools (chatrooms) in the same way that he did but that these colleagues did not have consistent disciplinary sanctions applied to them.
Mr Stimpson, was one of a number of traders dismissed by Citigroup in 2014 after an investigation into rate rigging that was believed to have occurred at the bank – a scandal that could potentially cost Citigroup $2.29 billion in fines from regulatory authorities around the world.
Citigroup has denied the allegations made by Mr Stimpson and is defending the claims that Mr Stimpson has brought to the Employment Tribunal. Citigroup is defending the claim on the basis that Mr Stimpson was dismissed for a repudiatory breach of contract, alleging that an investigation by the bank found that he had shared confidential client information with traders at other banks via electronic chatrooms.
Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the claim: “This claim appears to be the first of a number of unfair dismissal claims that are being brought by former traders at Citigroup who were dismissed in the wake of the Libor scandal, and may prove to be an important ‘test case’ in determining whether Citigroup’s actions in dismissing the employees were lawful. The burden of proof in unfair dismissal claims is neutral – Mr Stimpson will have to persuade the Employment Tribunal that Citigroup’s decision to dismiss him fell outside of the range of reasonable responses or, alternatively, that the procedure used to dismiss him was unfair; the bank will, on the other hand, be arguing that the dismissal of Mr Stimpson was undertaken after a reasonable investigation and was a reasonable decision to come to. We will, however, have to wait to see what the outcome of the case is.”
The hearing at the East London Employment Tribunal continues and is expected to conclude this week.