• Bank and former employee Patrick O'Connor to meet own costs
  • O'Connor was fired last year for sending offensive messages

A trader fired by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. last year for sending offensive messages has dropped his legal action against the lender.

The Melbourne-based bank won’t make any payment to Patrick O’Connor and each party will meet their own legal costs, the lender said in a statement Friday.

O’Connor was among seven traders suspended by the bank in November 2014 amid a regulatory probe into the setting of Australia’s interbank interest-rate benchmark. As it sifted through the traders’ emails amid the BBSW probe, ANZ discovered messages that violated its policies.

O’Connor, and Etienne Alexiou, ANZ’s former head of balance sheet trading, were both dismissed and sued the bank for lost income and bonuses. In documents lodged with the court, they claimed senior managers condoned a culture of rule-breaking in which foul language and drunken behavior went unpunished.

“ANZ is committed to taking disciplinary action where it finds instances of unacceptable behavior,” the bank said in the statement. “This includes an uncompromising stance with former employees where the bank considers legal disputes instigated by them to be without merit.”

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