UBS Settles Lawsuit with Former Trainee Who Alleged Rape by Senior Employee

By | June 29, 2020

UBS Group AG settled a lawsuit brought by a former trainee in London who said she was raped by a senior employee, according to her attorney.

The Swiss lender agreed to settle the claim after the trainee, who was identified in court documents as Ms. A, alleged that UBS failed to protect her and that its investigation of her complaint was flawed. The female graduate, who worked on the trading floor, had also told former UBS investment-banking head Andrea Orcel of the “sexualized atmosphere” on the desk.

“UBS and Ms. A have reached a mutual resolution in relation to this matter as a result of which Ms. A has withdrawn her claim,” her lawyer, Suzanne McKie, said in a statement.

A representative for the bank declined to immediately comment. UBS said in a statement when the trainee brought her claim last year that it had conducted an independent investigation into sexual misconduct allegations and concluded that it had made no fundamental errors, but had recommended some changes.

Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.

The agreement comes as sexual harassment and discrimination comes under greater scrutiny in the wake of the MeToo movement and U.K. regulators step up efforts to hold financial firms and managers accountable.

The trainee says she was compelled to sit near the employee whom she had accused of rape. The trainee had to take the fire escapes to avoid coming across the senior banker and raised this with the lender’s human-resources department, McKie said in a statement when she first brought her claim at the employment tribunal in March last year.

The alleged rape was said to have taken place in September 2017 and is still being investigated by police.

The alleged perpetrator resigned from the investment bank in March 2018, five months after he was suspended, two people familiar with the matter have previously said. UBS hadn’t started a formal disciplinary procedure by the time he departed the Swiss lender, the people said. The trainee, who can’t be identified for legal reasons, left the bank in June 2018.

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