Irwin Mitchell Lawyer Says Harassment Figures Are Unsurprising
The ‘Financial News’ has obtained figures using a freedom of information request which reveals that 25 cases of alleged bullying and harassment have been investigated by the Bank of England between 2009, and January 2019.
Following these accusations, the Bank of England is set to update its code of conduct for its 4,000 staff in September of this year.
These findings have sparked commentary from a number of individuals familiar with workplace attitudes in the banking industry, and indicate widespread issues of misconduct which have been improperly dealt with.
Shah Qureshi, head of the Employment and Professional Discipline department at the London office commented:
Expert Opinion“It comes as no surprise that there were 25 cases of alleged bullying and harassment at the Bank of England. It reflects a widely held view that many financial institutions have a toxic culture of bullying, [with many cases] swept under the carpet.” Shah Qureshi - Partner
Bradley Fried, chair of the court of the Bank of England also told the UK parliament’s Treasury Committee last month: “We will not accept a smidgen of bullying, harassment [and] discrimination. Each year we review our policies in our court to deal with these issues.”
Moreover Atul Shah, visiting professor at City, University of London, was quoted in the ‘Financial News’ stating that the figures show that culture problems are a “systemic issue” within the finance industry and that “the deeper roots [to bullying and harassment] lie in the ignorance of culture and ethics in business, finance and economics education.”
The ‘Financial News’ reports that over half of the 25 cases were either “partially or fully upheld”, and included a “small number of bank employees who were dismissed following disciplinary procedures”. This follows on from the stark increase in the number of accusations of bullying and harassment at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The ‘Financial News’ recently reported that “employees brought 14 cases of bullying and harassment against the FCA last year, up from just four in 2017. All the incidents were investigated by the regulator, two people were fired and three were subject to disciplinary proceedings as a result.” It also reported that “nearly 30 cases of bullying and harassment have been investigated at the watchdog since 2016. In the three years before 2016, just seven incidents were investigated, while only two cases of bullying and harassment were probed between 2009 and 2012.”
The Bank of England have declined to comment and have refrained from providing a figure revealing the number of employees dismissed following investigations, since to do so could identify an individual.