- London judge refuses to reinstate trader Perry Stimpson
- Stimpson's was among first FX cases at London tribunal
Former Citigroup Inc. currency trader Perry Stimpson was awarded 58,774 pounds ($82,000), less than half his annual salary, after winning a lawsuit claiming he was unfairly fired during an investigation into allegations of market rigging.
The London court refused to give Stimpson, a 25-year veteran of the bank, his job back in a ruling Tuesday. That decision closed the door on a potentially larger severance payment if the lender decided to fire him a second time.
"I do not accept that the claimant has a genuine desire to work at the bank, this is a tactical position connected with a compensatory award,” Judge Alison Russell said during the hearing. Despite winning the suit, Stimpson was guilty of "foolish and contributory conduct,"she said.
The case was the one of the first in a spate of wrongful termination suits related to currency-exchange manipulation to be heard in London. Banks have fired dozens of traders in the aftermath of regulatory probes in which they have been fined at least $10 billion.
"That’s in line with our expectations, I think the judge understood the case," Stimpson, who represented himself in court, said after the ruling. "I’m just pleased it’s finally over and done with, that’s the best thing."
While Stimpson’s award is less than the maximum of 78,300 pounds in tribunal cases, at least one other currency trader was denied any compensation after a finding of wrongful termination in a similar case at the court.
There were "serious inadequacies" in Citigroup’s investigation before Stimpson’s dismissal, Judge Russell said. "This was a very serious failure to investigate despite having very substantial resources."
The New York-based bank said it stood by its decision to dismiss Stimpson, who was paid about 2,800 pounds a week.
"Individual accountability is important to us, and for that reason we defended the case in the tribunal,” the bank said in a statement. “We expect our employees to adhere to the highest ethical standards and will not tolerate breaches of our code of conduct."