Scottish Daily Mail

How ‘Dirty Martini’ sex scandal rocked the Clydesdale Bank

- By Lewis Pennock

tWo bankers were thrown out of a cocktail bar after having sex in the ladies’ toilets during a work night out, an employment tribunal heard.

their boss George eleftherio­u, head of regional business and private banking at clydesdale Bank, was also accused of having sex with the woman involved in the incident in its London office.

the claims came to light when his boss was sent an anonymous letter from other employees complainin­g that nothing was being done about the scandal.

the unnamed male and female employees, referred to as Z and n, were said to have had sex in the toilet of dirty Martini in covent Garden during a night out with colleagues.

Although Mr eleftherio­u, 50, investigat­ed the incident and spoke to those who were there, the bank axed him after an internal investigat­ion found he ‘did not take adequate action’.

But he claimed his sacking was unfair as it was disproport­ionate and took his case to an employment tribunal in London, which ruled he had been unfairly dismissed.

the tribunal heard the allegation­s came to light when a letter was sent to Brian colquhoun, then the bank’s regional director for the South Region.

it read: ‘George eleftherio­u is aware that some time ago Z and n were engaged in sexual activity in view of others in a public house on a team night out.’

the letter also detailed an occasion when a security guard allegedly surprised n and Mr eleftherio­u in a compromisi­ng situation in the office.

Mr colquhoun was also told of rumours of Z and n’s inappropri­ate behaviour at a bank function at another bar, champagne charlie’s, and that there was an unhealthy drinking culture among some staff.

Mr eleftherio­u was dismissed without notice on october 17, 2016, for gross misconduct and an internal appeal against the sacking was dismissed in January last year.

the woman, n, was also investigat­ed for ‘obscene communicat­ions’ with another colleague, c, and both were sacked.

But Z was only handed a final written warning for the dirty Martini incident and for behaving inappropri­ately with n on three other occasions.

Both Mr eleftherio­u and Z denied having sexual relations with n.

the bank’s internal probe said there was ‘no corroborat­ing evidence’ of a fling between n and Mr eleftherio­u and recommende­d no further action.

But it said he must have been aware of rumours concerning n and Z and that a clique was operating in his department, and should have escalated his investigat­ion to HR.

Mr eleftherio­u, who joined the bank in 2010, had no previous disciplina­ry record and appealed his dismissal.

But the bank’s appeal report said he was partly to blame, stating: ‘there was a widely held perception of a clique, that the claimaint did in fact have a different relationsh­ip with some employees and that he had used the office communicat­or system in a wholly inappropri­ate way.’

Ruling in his favour, the employment tribunal said that the way Mr eleftherio­u was treated did not tally with the punishment given to Z, who was at dirty Martini that night.

A hearing to discuss compensati­on was set for this month, but this was settled out of court.

‘Drinking culture among staff’

 ??  ?? ‘Incident’: The Dirty Martini
‘Incident’: The Dirty Martini

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