(Bloomberg) -- An ex-Citigroup Inc. banker is fighting to get his job back after he alleged that he was fired for blowing the whistle on a “toxic” culture at the bank’s Dubai office.
Faycal Dahab, a former sales director for the Middle East and North Africa, told a London employment tribunal how sales employees were told by a senior banker they should be grateful as “they earn more than employees of Starbucks,” according to court documents prepared by Dahab’s lawyers.
Dahab said he was wrongfully ousted in January 2020 under the guise of a standard redundancy round, when in fact it was down to unfair treatment following his disclosures. He is suing Citi for unfair dismissal, saying the bank retaliated against him because of his claims.
“I would be treated as being ‘difficult’ and ‘negative’ for having disclosed my genuine concerns about inappropriate business and management practices,” Dahab said in a witness statement prepared for the hearing. Younger staff members were put under excessive pressure to produce revenues and some within the compliance and department were “bullied,” Dahab said.
Dahab said that during visits to Citi’s Dubai office, a former employee confided in him that he was having sleepless nights and losing weight because of the stress he was under at work. Dahab said he tried to talk to managing directors about this but his claims were not escalated to HR.
Citi’s lawyers said in legal documents that none of Dahab’s claims were made in writing until he was put at risk of redundancy.
The bank “simply does not recognize” Dahab’s “attempted characterization of himself as a whistle-blower,” Simon Devonshire, Citi’s lawyer, said in legal documents prepared for the hearing.
“Upon being informed that he may be made redundant, the claimant raised a number of allegations, all of which were investigated and unsubstantiated,” Citi said in an emailed statement. “Citi is robustly defending these claims.”
Dahab is asking the court for his job back and for compensation that could amount to 1.2 million pounds ($1.6 million) before tax, Citi’s lawyer, Devonshire, said in legal documents.
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