Fired Citigroup FX Trader Suing Bank Didn’t Use ‘Common Sense’

  • Trader Baris Ozkaptan sues the lender for unfair dismissal
  • Ozkaptan is the fifth ex-Citigroup trader to sue over firing

A Citigroup Inc. trader fired following global probes into foreign exchange market manipulation should have known that sharing confidential information with rivals was wrong, the executive who dismissed him said in a lawsuit.

Baris Ozkaptan, an emerging markets trader who is suing the bank, told rivals the identities of clients in eight electronic chats during the 12 months ending in November 2012, Conor Davis, the bank’s head of EMEA credit sales, said in a witness statement made public at a London employment court Wednesday.

Baris Ozkaptan

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Ozkaptan is the fifth London-based FX trader to sue Citigroup for wrongful dismissal in the aftermath of the market manipulation scandal that cost banks about $10 billion in fines. At least three other banks were also sued by traders fired amid the fallout.

"It is very clear what is confidential and what isn’t -- it should be common sense," Davis said while giving evidence. "Everyone knows what is and isn’t material, and if you ask a client, they wouldn’t want any disclosures of what they were doing whatsoever."

Davis’s testimony is at odds with evidence given by traders that sued the bank in the wake of the scandal. Carly McWilliams, who won her case in April, accepted that disclosing client orders was wrong, but said her managers had encouraged it at the time.

"What Baris did was so far over the line it isn’t even debatable whether the material was confidential," Davis said. "It was well beyond that and sadly for him it came across to me in his disciplinary meeting that he was well aware of that."

A Citigroup spokeswoman declined to immediately comment. Ozkaptan will testify in the case next week.

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