Profit & Lossunderstands that John Bannerjee, who claimed unfair dismissal against former employer Royal Bank of Canada, has won his case.
Sources say that the tribunal judge at the London Central Tribunal found that the principal reason for his dismissal was the making of a protected disclosure. The judge also found, the sources say, that Bannerjee contributed 25% to his dismissal, however the compensation awarded will be boosted by 25% because the bank failed to comply with the UK’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Code of Practice.
The parties still have to go through the process of a Remedy Hearing at which the level of compensation will be set – Bannerjee was also claiming whistle blower status, which removes the ceiling on claims under UK law, although no information is available on whether he has been successful.
Bannerjee argued he was unfairly dismissed for challenging part of the bank’s code of practice, arguing RBC failed to protect its dealers from potential criminal liability by not ring-fencing fixing orders. He also claims that when an error led to loss of almost $900,000, the matter was swept under the carpet and he was “offered a bribe”, when former RBS global head of FX Ed Monahan allegedly told him, “An investigation will make the department look bad, and that means you will look bad…Is it the loss that bothers you? I’ll cut you a check for the loss – just drop it.”
According to the sources, the judge decided that while RBC encouraged staff to report wrongdoing, when Bannerjee did tell the bank that staff were taking a couple of minutes to attest that they had read policies vital for regulatory compliance when they had not read them carefully, or at all; and did ask the bank to investigate, the bank did not respond. Instead, using his late arrival at work as a pretext, RBC sacked the Bannerjee. Therefore, the judge funds that the main reason for his dismissal was his public interest disclosure.
Bannerjee’s win is the latest in a series of wins for former staffers claiming unfair dismissal starting with Perry Stimpson’s win against Citi in November 2015. While some claimaints have been unsuccessful, the majority of unfair dismissal claims put through the UK employment tribunal by former FX dealers have been successful, most latterly, the claim of David Fotheringhame against Barclays.
In a statement emailed to Profit & Loss RBC says, “While we note the decision of the tribunal we strongly disagree and are evaluating available options. While we do so, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”