City watchdog slams own staff's 'shameful' toilet habits

Image source, Financial Conduct Authority
Image caption,
It looks nicer on the outside than on the inside, apparently

City of London regulators tasked with mucking out the financial stables have been making a "shameful" mess of their own, it has emerged.

Financial Conduct Authority staff have been upbraided for leaving their HQ in an "unacceptable" state.

Chief operating officer Georgina Philippou complained of "bad behaviour" including "colleagues defecating on the floor in toilet cubicles".

Catering and security teams had been verbally abused, she said.

Ms Philippou made the complaints in a letter to the 4,000 employees at the FCA's Stratford headquarters that was posted on the authority's intranet.

She said she was "ashamed" at the behaviour of a "minority of colleagues".

As first reported by the Evening Standard newspaper, she outlined a series of incidents, including:

  • Overflowing waste bins
  • Cutlery and crockery left in kitchen areas
  • People urinating on the floor in the men's toilets
  • Alcohol bottles left in sanitary bins
  • Plants and charge cables stolen from desks.

Ms Philippou said: "You may have heard about some of these behaviours already and I'm sure others will come as a shock.

"This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated here."

The FCA has been responsible for regulating the conduct of the UK's financial firms and markets since 2013. It moved from Canary Wharf to its current home in July last year.

An FCA spokesperson said: "There has been a small number of incidents of bad behaviour towards our colleagues and building.

"We have a duty as an employer to highlight this sort of poor behaviour and our senior management are very clear it is simply unacceptable.

"We value all of our staff and it is only right that we call out poor behaviour when we see it. Judging from the feedback we have received on the article, our staff agree."

Image source, Jack Taylor
Image caption,
KPMG has also had to warn staff about their behaviour

Bosses at audit giant KPMG were also forced to warn staff about their conduct at work in 2018.

An email to workers at its Reading office seen by the BBC warned: "We have had some incidents recently where the first floor accessible toilet sink is being used as a toilet, not for urinating.

"This is not the behaviour we expect from KPMG staff."

A KPMG spokesperson told the BBC: "This was an isolated incident which occurred in one of our offices well over a year ago and was clearly totally unacceptable.

"Where there is behaviour that falls short of the standards we expect we are quick to call it out, as we have done here."

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