High-paid banker ‘suspended over alleged food theft’

Citigroup HQ in Canary WharfImage copyright

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The alleged thefts were said to have taken place at Citigroup’s London headquarters

Investment bank Citigroup has suspended a senior trader allegedly accused of stealing food from the staff canteen, media reports say.

The trader, Paras Shah, is reported to have been earning more than £1m a year including bonuses.

He was removed from his post as head of high-yield bond trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa last month, the Financial Times reported.

Citigroup has refused to make any comment on the allegations.

According to reports, Mr Shah, aged 31, was suspended following allegations that he helped himself to sandwiches from the canteen at the bank’s London headquarters in Canary Wharf.

It is not clear how many times this happened or over what period of time the alleged behaviour occurred.

The BBC has attempted to contact Mr Shah on LinkedIn, but his profile was unavailable and appears to have been deleted.

Petty theft

Mr Shah is not the first leading City figure to have faced serious consequences because of alleged or proven petty dishonesty.

In 2014, BlackRock director Jonathan Paul Burrows was banned from working in the financial services industry after he was caught regularly avoiding buying a train ticket on his commute to London.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said he should have been a role model for others and his conduct had “fallen short of the standard expected for someone in his position”.

Mr Shah’s departure came weeks before the bank was due to pay annual bonuses to senior employees.

He joined Citigroup in 2017 after spending seven years at HSBC.

His job involved trading in junk bonds, which are issued by companies with low credit ratings or short track records as a means of raising cash.

Because there is a risk that the company that issued them will default and render them worthless, they have to offer a higher return on investment, which is why they are also known as high-yield bonds.