UBS Faces FCA Review of Alleged Rape Incident in London

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. financial-services regulator is looking at how UBS Group AG handled an allegation that a London-based trainee was raped by a more senior employee, people familiar with the matter said.

The Financial Conduct Authority wants to know why the bank didn’t notify it about the complaint under guidelines that require firms to deal with regulators in a transparent manner, the people said, declining to be identified as the discussions are private.

The alleged perpetrator resigned from the investment bank in March, five months after he was suspended, two people familiar with the matter have previously said. UBS hadn’t started a formal disciplinary procedure by the time he departed the Swiss lender, the people said. The trainee left the bank earlier this year.

The FCA review comes after Bloomberg News reported in July that UBS is planning to examine how it handled cases of harassment after the complaint. The alleged rape took place at the senior employee’s private residence in the fall of 2017, people familiar with the matter said at that time.

UBS hired London-based law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP to review how the bank handled the complaint from the female trainee, the bank said in August. The bank declined to comment on the FCA probe Thursday.

There is intense public scrutiny in how large firms handle allegations of sexual harassment after a number of women accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of assault last year. Since then, several high-profile individuals have been accused of misconduct across a range of industries, giving birth to the global #MeToo movement.

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