RBS Market Manipulator Got Canned Because Some Janitor Posed As A Bond Guy And For No Other Reason, Says RBS Market Manipulator

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Time was, RBS had a lax policy on its employees manipulating the price of securities. It wasn't something management had ever expressed a problem with and certainly no one was going to get fired for doing so, if it was even noticed, which typically it was not. Which is why trader Alex Mallinson felt comfortable engaging in a little market abuse, and why Alex Mallison would've continued engaging in a little market abuse, if one guy hadn't come along and ruined things for the whole group.

KK Ho appeared out of nowhere last year on the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s London trading floor. He had freshly printed business cards identifying himself as a bond salesman. He met with customers and impressed executives in internal meetings with his talk about rich clients he knew, according to two people familiar with the matter. Then, just as suddenly, he was out the door several months later after bank managers began asking questions about him, questions that led to the realization that he wasn’t a bond salesman after all, the people said...Ho had been a manager in RBS property services facing a layoff, and was given a desk to help him find a new position, according to the three people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss it. Ho wasn’t assigned to a team, had no manager and wasn’t authorized to sell securities or meet clients.

The case came to light in an employment tribunal lawsuit filed by a former RBS trader, Alex Mallinson, who claimed he was unfairly fired after being accused of manipulating internal pricing systems. In a witness statement given to the London tribunal in February, Mallinson described an incident that led the compliance department to treat employees more harshly. The bank “uncovered a situation where an RBS premises (building maintenance) worker had infiltrated the trading floor” and “posed as a senior bond salesman,” he said in the statement. “Once the situation was uncovered it was dealt with very swiftly, but the fallout was substantial.” The compliance department was reprimanded and the incident “sent a number of very senior managers that had been fooled into thinking this individual was a top salesman, into a tail-spin,” Mallinson said.

And that and only that is the reason Mallison is no longer employed by the bank. If not for fake-bond-guy, Mallison would still be there, doing his thang, no questions asked.

Bond Salesman Who Wasn’t Reveals RBS Human Errors [Bloomberg]

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