Fired Lloyds Trader Says Bank Targeted Him After Tesco Deal

  • Carlier says justifications for firing were `window dressing'
  • Bank says whistleblowing had no impact on Carlier's dismissal

Paul Carlier, a former foreign-exchange trader at Lloyds Banking Group Plc, said he was "targeted" by the bank after blowing the whistle on improper trading.

Carlier, who is suing Lloyds, said he raised concerns in July 2014 about a trade in which an order from Tesco Plc was partially filled so the sales desk could "buy back" the amount not yet completed at a lower price, making a profit at the expense of Tesco. The allegation emerged in the witness statement of Anders Henrikson, head of foreign exchange product at Lloyds. Carlier said he raised concerns about the trade to his line manager Steve Harris, which contributed to his dismissal.

"I was targeted, I was selected and that was it," Carlier, who is representing himself, said while questioning Henrikson Wednesday in London. "Everything thereafter was just window dressing."

Carlier is one of many traders to sue their former companies in London’s employment tribunals in recent weeks. Lloyds, Citigroup Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc all have cases ongoing or pending.

The decision to cut jobs in currency trading was made in June 2014, a month before Carlier raised concerns about the Tesco transaction, as central bank policy and increased capital requirements weighed on the department’s profits, Henrikson said in his witness statement.

"Paul’s whistle-blowing allegations had no bearing on the decision to make him redundant," Henrikson said in the statement.

While mulling the decision to fire Carlier in 2014, Henrikson compared his performance with those of another trader Martin Chantree, who was suspended and then reinstated after the bank’s probe into currency rigging. Chantree had brought in 3.7 million pounds ($5.7 million) during 2013, exceeding his 3.5 million-pound target, according to Henrikson’s witness statement. Carlier had made 557,000 pounds, missing his target of 1.75 million pounds.

Damages in employment cases are normally capped at about 78,300 pounds, unless there is a finding of discrimination or the claimant wins status as a whistle-blower.

A spokesman for Tesco declined to comment immediately.

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