RBC appeals FX trader’s whistleblowing victory
The Royal Bank of Canada is appealing a judge’s scathing verdict that it sacked a former trader in London for blowing the whistle on lax compliance, citing a ‘robust compliance culture’.
A tribunal judge ruled earlier this year that Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) fired a trader for blowing the whistle on poor regulatory compliance, and poured scorn on the bank’s application of its whistleblowing policy in his judgment.
Former RBC trader John Banerjee took the bank to the Central London Employment Tribunal, arguing that he was dismissed for lifting the lid on failings.
He was hired in June 2015 in London to build out the bank’s business in emerging-market currencies, making millions, but was dismissed in August 2016.
The bank insisted it fired him for being persistently late, but employment judge James Tayler ruled that Banerjee was dismissed primarily for making a public interest disclosure.
Banerjee had blown the whistle on his colleagues failing to read and understand the bank’s policies properly.
The judge wrote in his judgment, which was released on Wednesday: “If bankers are not reading important policies and so may breach regulatory requirements, that is of the utmost public interest.
“The public have the greatest interest in banks avoiding a further financial crisis in which the general public would suffer, as they did in the last.”