The legal battle between Patrick O’Connor and the ANZ is over after the former bond salesman decided to withdraw his unfair dismissal claim against the bank.
ANZ says the bank will make no payment to O’Connor and each side will meet their own legal costs in the Federal Court action.
The bond salesman lost his job last year over what the bank said was “abuse of a company-issued credit card”. It also alleged he’d made sexually explicit comments via his Bloomberg chat terminal.
O’Connor launched legal action against the bank earlier this month after being sacked in October 2015, saying “official bank credit cards would be used for private expenditure on occasions, on the condition that private expenditure was repaid to the bank” and claimed that he would reveal “embarrassing” details about the ANZ’s “toxic and unsafe culture” during the court case.
O’Connor said personal use of credit cards was “a tolerated practice throughout some senior ranks of the bank that official bank credit cards would be used for private expenditure on occasions, on the condition that private expenditure was repaid to the bank”.
His corporate credit card was used allegedly used for $37,000 worth of personal expenses, including $18,000 worth of rare coins, private health insurance, rent, alcohol and hotel rooms.
The banker claimed that using for corporate card for private expenses was “a tolerated practice throughout some senior ranks of the bank that official bank credit cards would be used for private expenditure on occasions, on the condition that private expenditure was repaid to the bank”.
O’Connor was seeking reinstatement, damages and his $800,000 bonus as well as the return of unvested shares, or compensation for losing them all.
The ANZ responded at the time saying O’Connor made allegations about some existing and former staff at ANZ and it was investigating, but added that many of the allegations were “not accurate and these inaccuracies will become apparent as the matters proceed through the court system”.
In its statement today, saying the action had been dropped, the bank said:
ANZ is committed to taking disciplinary action where it finds instances of unacceptable behaviour. This includes an uncompromising stance with former employees where the bank considers legal disputes instigated by them to be without merit.
Legal action by another former employer Etienne Alexiou, one of seven traders stood down in 2014 in the wake of a regulatory probe into bank bill swap rate settings, continues.
He is suing the bank for $30 million, claiming the bank’s Global Markets division had a toxic culture than condoned drunkeness, strip clubs and drugs and other conduct contrary to the bank’s values and policies.
No findings of wrongdoing were made against Alexiou over the swap rate issue, but he was subsequently terminated for “highly offensive and inappropriate” language.
He claims he was singled out after raising concerns about the “unethical treatment of investors” and a potential Corporations Act breach with the bank.
Just before Christmas he sold a Point Piper investment property worth more than $7 million in the same street as PM Malcolm Turnbull.
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