Thursday, March 23, 2006

British banks risk flood of anti-gay claims

The investment banking industry thrives on its macho culture, where bankers and traders slug it out in the financial markets to clinch that megadeal, but increasingly that culture is proving a liability in Britain.Banks in the City of London financial center risk a wave of gay discrimination claims unless they transform the City's testosterone-fuelled image and "laddish" culture.They have already faced a string of sex discrimination lawsuits from disgruntled women employees over unequal pay, harassment and being passed over for promotion.Now, new British legislation to combat sexual discrimination could trigger a flood of fresh claims, lawyers say.A British employment tribunal is currently deliberating over the first major gay discrimination case in Britain -- a record 5 million pound ($8.72 million) claim by top banker Peter Lewis, who alleges he was sacked by HSBC because he is gay. HSBC denies this...more

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