UOB employee in London sues over alleged racial discrimination
A British employee is suing United Overseas Bank, saying that he was overlooked for a new role due not being Asian.
In the the lawsuit, which is against the London branch of the Singaporean bank, Daniel Smith alleges unfair dismissal.
He had previously worked at the bank for more than 20 years, but was asked to apply for new roles after his section was shuttered.
However, Smith was later told by branch manager Andy Cheah that the bank would be going with a Southeast Asian candidate instead – one “who would fit into UOB well.”
Smith alleges that minutes of that particular meeting were later altered – from initially saying that the role necessitated a candidate who “fit into UOB, which had a strong Asian influence”, to instead say that an “ability to fit into UOB’s banking culture” was required.
“To have been overlooked for an alternative role, and discriminated in the way I was, is such a big letdown given everything I had given to the bank over what has been most of my adult working life,” said Smith.
Cheah refuted allegations of racial discrimination, saying that “[the candidate’s] race and nationality have absolutely nothing to do with her selection”.
“The promotion of cultural, ethnic, gender and other forms of diversity is a critical part of the group’s strategy in serving our diverse client base,” a UOB spokesperson told The Straits Times.