Fired bankers suing for unfair dismissal and unpaid bonuses have found little success at London’s specialty employment courts as continuing anger over the financial crisis has left judges unsympathetic.
Bloomberg reports that the adverse rulings from the U.K. Employment Tribunal come after London bankers had a run of legal successes with courts ruling that they were entitled to large bonuses written into contracts before the economic downturn. The latest round of cases have largely been based instead on wrongful termination, where the banks have had been able to make stronger arguments.
A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) banker, fired for mispricing aluminum trades, discovered the new reality the hard way October 17th, when a London judge threw out his suit for not properly explaining how 'a large number of errors' he made benefited his trading book by about $400,000. Other claims tossed this year involved securities manipulation and threats from colleagues.
'In the current climate there is little sympathy for bankers', said Andreas White, an employment lawyer at Kingsley Napley LLP in London. 'Banking is the only industry where claimant employees are even less popular' than their bosses.
Bankers have turned to London courts as job cuts in the financial industry have continued. Financial firms in Western Europe have eliminated around 45,000 jobs this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. UBS AG (UBSN) on October 30th said it would cut 10,000 jobs globally amid plans to scale back its U.K. investment banking unit to focus on wealth management.
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