Woman banker set to sue HBOS for £11m
A senior female banker is set to sue HBOS for more than £11m in a sex discrimination and wrongful dismissal case after claiming she was, in effect, sacked when she tried to return to her desk.
Claire Bright, who was head of asset and liability management at the country’s largest mortgage and savings provider, confronted bosses yesterday when she arrived at HBOS headquarters in the City having been suspended three months ago.
Ms Bright, 47, whose earnings package was about £600,000 a year, claims she was treated unfairly following a clash with a senior male colleague.
After spending three months on suspension, the City banker arrived at HBOS offices determined to bring the dispute to a head. Shortly before 11am, she emerged to tell waiting reporters that she had been dismissed.
Gillian Howard, her lawyer, said Ms Bright had been stopped from returning to work and would add actions for wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal to her claim for sex discrimination and victimisation already filed with Stratford employment tribunal in London.
HBOS acknowledged that “a grievance relating to allegations of sex discrimination” had been brought by Ms Bright and dealt with under company procedures, which it described as “vigorous and comprehensive”.
“That process has been completed and Ms Bright’s allegations have not been upheld,” the company said.
HBOS went on to say that the banker had met senior bosses from HBOS Treasury and been treated with courtesy. “She remains an employee of the company,” it said. The bank added that it would “vigorously defend” its position at any tribunal hearing.
But outside HBOS headquarters, Ms Howard said: “They dismissed my client without any reason. We are now going back to my office to issue proceedings.