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Ex-JPMorgan Trader Says Colleagues Staged Walk-Out Over Firing

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 4/15/2021 Ellen Milligan

(Bloomberg) -- A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. trader who’s suing the bank for unfair dismissal says his colleagues walked out of its London office the day he was fired.

After his dismissal last year, some co-workers left for the day in protest, Bradley Jones told a London employment tribunal Thursday. A week later, the same colleagues expressed concern for their own positions at a team meeting, he said.

Jones argues he was wrongfully fired after the bank revisited a compliance review into spoofing that had previously found he did nothing wrong. The review came after JPMorgan decided it needed to be tougher on such cases after accepting that market manipulation was rife at two trading desks in the U.S., Jones claims.

The former trader wants to be re-hired by JPMorgan if he wins his case, allowing Jones to reclaim his lost salary, which would likely be more than any tribunal award. In 2018, he’d earned $675,000. He was in his late 20s at the time.

“I am still close friends with a lot of the JPM equities team and I know that the general feeling is that my situation was handled very poorly and most are in disbelief at the circumstances and would welcome me back with open arms,” he said in a witness statement released as part of his London lawsuit this week.

“I am aware that since my dismissal some of my former colleagues have left or will be leaving JPM, and that my dismissal has impacted their decision,” he said.

JPMorgan declined to comment and Jones’ lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a message.

Read more: JPMorgan Traders Fired in Spoofing Probes Sue Bank in N.Y., U.K.

Earlier this week, another trader fired amid U.S. Justice Department inquiries into market manipulation filed a separate suit against the bank in New York. Donald Turnbull, the former head of the bank’s precious metals trading desk, said he was dismissed for cooperating with the Justice Department probe into metals market manipulation and providing investigators with what he knew of the activity.

Turnbull says in the lawsuit that the bank wasn’t suspicious of his conduct until it learned of his cooperation with the Justice Department. Six JPMorgan traders were ultimately charged in the metals market manipulation case.

In an email filed as part of Jones’ case, Luiz De Salvo, who at the time was a managing director on the bank’s London cash equities team, sent a message that traders are “VERY concerned after the news on Brad (as expected) and it is definitely impacting business.”

“The least color we provide, the more question and reluctance they will have to trade,” he said. The email was sent less than a week after Jones was dismissed.

De Salvo declined to comment.

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