An employment tribunal has found that banker Ellina Volkova, who carried out a rogue trade on behalf of a Russian client that cost the bank £20,000, was unfairly dismissed by Credit Suisse as the bank’s investigation into her behaviour was “unjustifiably delayed.”
As part of his judgement, Judge David Massarella found against Volkova’s claim that she was fired for whistleblowing, and found that her conduct did lead to her dismissal, the Telegraph first reported.
The tribunal also concluded that Volkova acted “dishonestly and without integrity, deliberately misleading her colleagues and disobeying reasonable instructions.”
Credit Suisse fired Volkova in January 2020 after a 17-month investigation into a rogue trade she made on behalf of a “ultra-high net worth” Russian-speaking client.
Volkova, who worked in private banking, had already been under scrutiny at work before the incident, for contravening Credit Suisse’s trading policies.
The incident that led to her sacking occurred in August 2018, when Volkova traded an “unsuitable” and unstructured product for the high net worth client, but failed to ask permission from the compliance team at Credit Suisse.
She also had conversations with the client for the trade on an unrecorded telephone line and with no chaperone present.
Three days after the transaction, Volkova asked the compliance team to review it. They instructed her not to proceed, but she didn’t mention that she’d already carried it out.
Credit Suisse then reversed the trade, which resulted in a loss of 22,000 Swiss Francs (£17,330).
“We have found that the investigations were carried out over an unjustifiably long period of time,” Judge Massarella said in his judgement.
It comes after the bank’s chief executive Tidjane Thiam stepped down from his role last year after the bank was mired in another scandal, having hired a spying firm to tail Iqbal Khan, a star banker who was in charge of the wealth management division.
Credit Suisse declined to comment.