Saturday 3 December 2016

French bank ordered to pay damages to former trader for unfair dismissal

Published 07/06/2016 | 17:01

Societe Generale has been ordered to pay Jerome Kerviel for unfair dismissal (AP)
Societe Generale has been ordered to pay Jerome Kerviel for unfair dismissal (AP)

French bank Societe Generale has been ordered to pay about 450,000 euros (£350,000) to former trader Jerome Kerviel for unfair dismissal, after he was accused of one of the biggest trading frauds in history.

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Mr Kerviel's supporters hailed Tuesday's decision in his favour by a labour arbitration court.

Societe Generale called it "incomprehensible" and vowed to appeal.

It is part of a web of ongoing legal cases involving Mr Kerviel since his trades spiralled into losses so big they nearly caused the collapse of one of Europe's biggest banks in 2008.

Mr Kerviel argues that his superiors knew about his questionable financial operations and permitted them as long as he was earning money for the bank.

Societe Generale insists it was not aware and says Mr Kerviel intentionally concealed unauthorised trading.

Mr Kerviel was fired after the trades came to light, and later sued for wrongful dismissal. The labour court ruled on Tuesday that he was fired "without real and serious cause".

"VICTORY!" Mr Kerviel's lawyer David Koubbi wrote on his Facebook page.

Societe Generale said in a statement the decision is "counter to the facts that have been judged" in other courts.

Mr Kerviel served time in prison over the trades after a criminal conviction, and a civil court ordered him to pay the bank back all 4.9 billion euros (£3.8 billion) in losses he generated at the time.

France's highest court annulled the financial damages, however, saying the bank shared responsibility, and a new trial will be held next week in Versailles to determine how much Mr Kerviel should pay.

Press Association

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