ANZ rejects 'toxic culture' allegations

ANZ rejects 'toxic culture' allegations

ANZ has vowed to "vigorously defend" claims by two sacked traders that the bank's dealing room is awash with drugs, sex and alcohol.


The Australian Financial Review aired allegations on Friday that ANZ tolerated a culture of drugs, sex and alcohol on its dealing room floor.

The claims have been made by former ANZ traders Patrick O'Connor and Etienne Alexiou, who were sacked by the bank in October and September 2015, respectively.

A statement by ANZ in response to the Fairfax story said Mr O'Connor's dismissal related to the abuse of a company-issued credit card, and both Mr O'Connor and Mr Alexiou's sackings were related to "highly inappropriate and offensive electronic communication".

Both Mr O'Connor and Mr Alexiou are suing ANZ, claiming the bank condoned the culture of drugs, sex and alcohol.

 ANZ will be "vigorously defending" both court applications, said the statement.

"Appropriate conduct, compliance with ANZ policies and respect for others is paramount at ANZ," said the statement.

"Where there is evidence that someone has not acted in a way that is consistent with our Code of Conduct and policies, we will take appropriate disciplinary action.

"Mr O’Connor and Mr Alexiou have also made allegations about some existing and former staff at ANZ.

"We are committed to investigating all cases that are bought to our attention either through our own management and monitoring or those raised by current or former staff," said the statement.

Mr O'Connor was also one of a group of traders stood down by ANZ in November 2014 pending an investigation by ASIC into manipulation of the bank bill swap rate (BBSW).

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari recently said the results of the ASIC investigation into the BBSW are "imminent" and will have "explosive" ramifications for the financial services industry.

"We understand that these claims come at a time where there is community concern about behaviours in some financial markets businesses around the world," said the ANZ statement.

"For ANZ, this also includes an investigation by ASIC into the Australian Bank Bill Swap Rate market."

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ANZ rejects 'toxic culture' allegations
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