Former Currency Trader Wins Whistle-Blower Case Against RBC

John Banerjee was sacked by the Canadian bank for complaining about compliance procedures

A whistle-blower at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was found by a London tribunal to have been unfairly dismissed. According to a Financial Times report, RBC sacked John Banerjee, who was the firm’s head of emerging markets currency trading, after he repeatedly brought up problems with the bank’s compliance procedures.

The former trader, over the course of several months, complained on numerous occasions about inconsistencies within the bank’s compliance guidelines. After the bank encouraged its staff to address any problems in the compliance process, Banerjee wrote to senior staff members, stating that employees were completing compliance documents suspiciously quickly.

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Today’s Financial Times report indicates that Banerjee was himself unable to complete the reading of compliance documents. The report noted that his efforts were stymied by “by broken links and incomplete information.”

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Not so simple

From RBC’s perspective, things were not quite as Banerjee said they were. The Canadian bank claimed that Banerjee was sacked for being late to work on a regular basis.

Other indications of a strained working relationship were present in the trial. One former colleague of Banerjee described the trader as a “blowhard,” and the judge presiding over his tribunal stated that he was “dogged in the extreme” and sometimes “chose the wrong battles to fight.” The judge added that Banerjee’s tardiness did contribute to his dismissal.

Speaking in the wake of his legal victory, Banerjee said that it was “wonderful to be vindicated by the court,” adding that RBC had subjected him “to a war of attrition.” Banerjee did not hire any solicitors for the case, fearing the high costs would leave him “homeless.” Instead, he was supported by Whistleblowers UK, a non-profit which, as its name suggests, supports whistle-blowers such as Banerjee.

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