HSBC Says Fired Executive Loses Race-Discrimination Claim

  • Court dismisses discrimination part of claim, HSBC Says
  • Biber wins unfair-dismissal portion of London lawsuit

A former HSBC Holdings Plc executive suing the bank for 15 million pounds ($22.7 million) lost his racial- and religious-discrimination claim at a London employment tribunal.

Habib Kaya Biber, the former co-head of the bank’s industrials unit, had his complaints of discrimination dismissed by a judge, according to HSBC. Biber won his unfair-dismissal claim, which limits the damages he can recover.

Biber, a Turkish Muslim who worked at the bank for 10 years, testified he received “disappointing” bonuses and was ultimately fired because of his national and ethnic origins. HSBC “has not offered a consistent or coherent explanation as to why it sought to remove one of the co-head positions,” Biber’s lawyer, Richard Leiper, said in documents prepared for a trial that started Aug. 4.

Biber, who was fired in May of last year, “was a poor performer whose bonus payments and ultimate dismissal were the direct results of his own failure to develop a revenue-rich investment banking business within industrials,” the bank said in its response filed to the tribunal.

Leiper declined to comment when contacted on Tuesday.

Damages in U.K. 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.

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