Tuesday , September 22 2020

City regulator staff slated over 'shameful' behavior at London HQ – The Guardian, Theguardian.com


FCA employees verbally abused catering staff, defecated on the floor and stole plants

Financial Conduct Authority.

The FCA’s chief operating officer, Georgina Philippou, warned ‘a minority’ of staff their bad behavior would not be tolerated. Photograph: M4OS Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

The City watchdog has warned staff to clean up their act following “shameful” behavior at its (London) headquarters, including verbal abuse of catering teams and workers defecating on toilet floors.

A senior boss at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – which is in charge ofpolicing bankers and financial firms– has written to staff over their bad behavior at the watchdog’s £ 60 m office in Stratford, east London.

“You may have heard about some of these behaviors already and I’m sure others will come as a shock,” the FCA’s chief operating officer, Georgina Philippou, said in a note published on the authority’s internal website .

She reprimanded staff for a list of unpleasant practices, including: “Leaving cutlery and crockery in the kitchen areas, overflowing bins, stealing plants and charging cables from desks, catering and security teams being subject to verbal abuse, colleagues defecating on the floor in toilet cubicles on a particular floor, urinating on the floor in the men’s toilets and leaving alcohol bottles in sanitary bins. ”

Philippou’s note, first reported by the Evening Standard, blamed the incidents on a “minority of colleagues” across the near 4, 000 – strong workforce but warned their bad manners and habits could not continue.

“I did think long and hard about whether to disclose all these behaviors because they are so distasteful and shameful but keeping quiet has not got us far in terms of changing … This kind of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated here. ”

It is an embarrassing admission by the City regulator, which is headed up by Andrew Bailey, believed to be a top contender in the race to replace thethe Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney.

The FCA made its long-awaited move from Canary Wharf, which had been its home since the 1990 s, last summer. But within weeks of moving to its new headquarters near east London’s Olympic Park, the regulator was plagued by water supply issues, and was forced to send hundreds of staff home after water dried up in the building’s toilets.

Fitting out the 15 – floor building cost the watchdog, which is funded by member fees, around £ 60 m.

The FCA said in a statement: “There has been a small number of incidents of bad behavior towards our colleagues and building. We have a duty as an employer to highlight this sort of poor behavior and our senior management are very clear it is simply unacceptable.

“We value all of our staff and it is only right that we call out poor behavior when we see it. Judging from the feedback we have received on the article, our staff agree. ”

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