LONDON (Reuters) - A former Citigroup foreign exchange trader claiming unfair dismissal after a currency rigging scandal told a London court on Tuesday that the activities for which he was fired were common practice at the U.S. bank at that time.
Perry Stimpson, dismissed from Citigroup’s London desk last November in the wake of a scandal that resulted in banks paying billions of dollars in fines, told the East London employment tribunal that he wanted to set the record straight and repair his reputation.
In a filing to the court, Citi said that Stimpson was dismissed for serious breach of contract, alleging that he appeared to have shared confidential client information with traders at other banks via electronic chatrooms.
Citi said Stimpson also took “steps to deliberately conceal such disclosures”.
Stimpson, who is representing himself, said: “I’m not here to mud-sling, I’m here to ensure the truth about foreign exchange at Citigroup is heard once and for all.”
Industry sources have said the case could be the first of many claims by traders fired over allegations of misconduct in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.
“I’m trying to paint a picture of the bank at the time and why my actions were normal across the industry and at the respondent (Citi) ... It shows the information-sharing practices that I have been criticised for was a common practice,” Stimpson told the packed hearing at the start of a case scheduled to last four days.
Employment tribunal judge Alison Russell ruled that there would be no reporting restrictions on the naming of Citigroup staff mentioned during proceedings. She also ruled that Stimpson’s case would not be rolled together with those of three other former Citigroup forex traders scheduled to be heard in the coming weeks.
A lawyer for Citigroup, Diya Sen Gupta, had told the hearing that it would be “contrary to the interests of justice” if other Citi staff were named without having had a chance to respond to allegations.
Stimpson said at the hearing that it would be unfair to allow senior Citi staff to remain anonymous.
“My dismissal has been a very public affair,” he said.
“Senior management — responsible for a lack of controls — have been afforded complete anonymity. I would see that as unfair.”
Additional reporting by Jamie McGeever