Two ex-Nomura staff lose UK race, sexism claims

LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Two bankers who said they had been unfairly dismissed by Nomura 8604.T because they were women and because they were not Japanese had their claims thrown out by a London court on Tuesday.

Judge Grewal at the Central London Employment Tribunal said claims by the two -- Anna Francis and Maureen Murphy -- for unfair dismissal, race discrimination and sex discrimination were not well founded.

Each woman was claiming 1.5 million pounds ($2.3 million) in compensation for loss of earnings and injury to feelings, according to reports. They had claimed Nomura was institutionally racist and sexist.

In court documents, Murphy said a Nomura trader had made a comment that “women belonged at home cleaning floors” and had to deal with difficult clients, including one who had referred to a female banker’s breasts as “honkers”.

Both Francis and Murphy joined from Lehman Brothers, after Nomura bought bankrupt Lehman’s European operations in September 2008. Francis joined Nomura’s Japanese equities sales desk and Murphy was on its pan-Asian equities team.

Following the deal, Nomura in London dismissed 425 employees across four divisions, including equities, between November 2008 and April 2009. The documents said 12 percent of male staff and 14.6 percent of female workers were dismissed in those areas. Some 174 were former Lehman employees and 251 were from Nomura.

“We have not found that the claimant was subjected to the detriments of which she complains,” Grewal said in regard to Francis. “She has not proved facts from which we could infer that had she been a man or Japanese or both that she would have been treated more favourably.” ($1=.6511 Pound) (Reporting by Steve Slater and Kirstin Ridley; editing by Simon Jessop)