US bank KeyCorp is facing a court case after being sued by its former head of FX trading over his dismissal last year.
Kevin Sollitt claims that he was dismissed by the bank for questioning unethical practices, including the taking of points from customer business, a claim the bank denies.
Sollitt claims in the lawsuit, which has been filed with the US District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, that the KeyCorp sales desk routinely misrepresented to clients the best available price for currency. After learning about the practice, he made his objections known over several months, but then was fired, according to the lawsuit.
Sollitt claims Flavio Giust, his counterpart in FX sales, quoted a market price to clients as much as 1% above the best price the bank’s traders could achieve.
The suit states that Giust and his supervisor, Denise Shade, held seminars on at least two occasions where they explained how to establish goodwill with large corporate clients in an effort to reduce scrutiny of foreign exchange transactions. That included taking losses on small transactions so customers would be less likely to notice inflated prices on larger, more profitable transactions.
Sollitt has asked KeyCorp to turn over foreign currency trading documents from January 1, 2005, to August 31, 2008, for several corporate clients of the bank.