< Back to news headlines

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - BNP Banker fired for terrorizing traders wins $1.8 million
BNP Paribas
Source -
Where - France
Cost - 1,700,000 EUR
Business line - Trading and Sales
Copyright © Bloomberg ( 2022

A senior BNP Paribas SA banker fired after being accused of terrorizing subordinates on the trading floor was awarded nearly 1.7 million euros ($1.8 million) in compensation and lost bonuses.

Omar Alami, formerly head of BNP’s equity derivatives sales for Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg, was unfairly dismissed, the Paris employment tribunal ruled Tuesday without giving further details.

Coralie Ouazana, Alami’s lawyer, said the decision vindicates her client, who has consistently maintained he did nothing wrong.

“Omar Alami is very satisfied with this decision which clears his name after a three-year fight,” Ouazana said in a statement. “Extremely serious accusations had been brought against him without any proof, accusations which he has always disputed.”

Alami sued after BNP fired him in 2019 when an internal report revealed that a rant at a trader he allegedly called “useless” in front of colleagues over a potential mistake wasn’t an isolated outburst. The document included testimony from employees, with Alami accused of “emotional terrorism.”

The lawsuit echoes a separate London case against UBS Group AG that’s also raising questions about what’s considered acceptable behavior on the trading floor. While the trader suing UBS described a “toxic environment” in which often bad-tempered colleagues would shout across the trading floor, the Swiss bank’s lawyers suggested this kind of pressured atmosphere “is the unavoidable reality of the work of a City trader.”

BNP said in a statement that it may appeal the ruling.

“In this matter, the company has taken all necessary measures to protect its employees in accordance with the group’s procedures,” the French bank said. “BNP Paribas does not tolerate behavior contrary to the respect and dignity of individuals, at all levels of the organization.”

The text of Tuesday’s ruling giving details of the tribunal’s reasoning won’t be available for weeks. Alami had sought a payout of about $4 million in his lawsuit.

During the Paris hearing last month, Alami told the court that his response to the trader who’d confessed to the likely error on a 1 million-euro trade “was lively.” But, he added, “I was never humiliating, I was never insulting or aggressive.” He also disputed the other findings of the internal probe, saying the statements from co-workers were anonymous, making it difficult for him to counter them.