ANZ Trader Sues for Defamation Over Social Media Rebuke, Seeking $20 Million

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One of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.’s most senior traders is suing the lender for defamation over its criticism of one of his social media posts.

In early March Bogac Ozdemir, a Singapore-based global head of credit at the bank, wrote a post on LinkedIn that blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic and criticized the state of U.S. society and politics. After his comments on China were attacked on social media, ANZ issued a statement later that month saying the post didn’t reflect the bank’s views and “showed a distinct lack of judgment.”

Ozdemir claims that the bank’s comments were defamatory and is seeking damages of not less than $20 million, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg. He further alleges in the filing that the ANZ statement was “made in response to pressure applied by Chinese financial regulators.”

He filed the civil action in New York, according to the summons dated July 8.

A spokesman for Melbourne-based ANZ Bank declined to comment, as did Ozdemir. ANZ has yet to file a response to the filing.

Last week, Ozdemir provided a copy of the now-deleted post which sparked the controversy to Bloomberg.

ANZ Trader Sues for Defamation Over Social Media Rebuke, Seeking $20 Million

Ozdemir, whose full title is global head of credit, local markets and G4 rates trading, has been at ANZ for seven years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He now resides in New Jersey, according to the filing.

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