SocGen loses bonuses lawsuit

City A.M. Reporter
Societe Generale has lost a high-profile lawsuit against a fired London-based investment banker that could cost France’s second-largest bank up to €20m (£16.3m).

The UK Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Belgian banker Raphael Geys, SocGen’s former managing director of European fixed income sales in London, had been sacked without proper notice in 2007.

“The bank could easily have done things properly,” said Judge Brenda Hale, one of five judges presiding over the case. “But for whatever reason they did not do so.”

Geys, a senior banker who says he was fired for being too successful, will now claim around €12.5m in unpaid severance pay from SocGen. He can also pursue the bank for damages worth “several million euros” more for failing to ensure his bonuses were paid in a tax efficient manner.

The judges said an employment contract can only be terminated without notice after the innocent party accepts the decision.