33 year-old Kishore Kansal has called out top city broker Tullett Prebon for cultivating a racist and generally prejudiced atmosphere in the work-place. Kansal stated that the department head Neil Campbell and much of his staff, almost 100% of whom are white middle-aged males, dealt in racist banter and practical jokes as well as different currencies.
Campbell is a “racist fool” Kansal told the tribunal. Claiming £1.5 million for racial harassment, the former Prebon banker said he was unfairly dismissed when he brought his concerns about the derogatory culture to the head. Campbell was alleged to have called him a “brown boy”, forcing him to take sick-leave before promptly sacking him afterwards.
Kansal elaborated on the mean-spiritedness that was endemic at the firm. He said he was “surprised by how the others in the office took this (Campbell's) behaviour – often laughing and even contributing to the jokes’. The content of his comments can be inferred from some of the caustic emails dredged up on his computer. One read 'I spent a couple of hours defrosting the fridge last night, or foreplay as she likes to call it.' Kansal also said staff stuck a picture of a terrorist on the desk of Hindu employee Maulik Patel saying that it resembled him while boss Campbell performed stereotypical impressions of Pakistani employee Mr Vahidy: ‘Neil Campbell stood up with a large grin on his face and said “You speak like this”, and then proceeded to do an impression of a Pakistani accent, saying ‘bud-li, bud-li, bud-li.’
The situation is also disturbing because the staff felt the need to conform to such behaviour to fit in, or indeed avoid redundancy. Kansal told how he had joined in at one point, sending images of Kim Jong to a colleague after talking to a South-Asian client. Vahidy too was said to often refer to himself as “the terrorist.”
Kansal has said that out of 800 staff on his floor there were no black people, only a few Asians and even less women.
Campbell has also been accused of making fun of the gay community, black people, women and the French and Dutch.
Tullett Prebon has denied all allegations but the trial continues.