MADRID, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Spanish bank Santander has hired a law firm to investigate an internal complaint that a group of employees visited a striptease club after a day of company meetings and pressured younger employees to attend, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
The incident took place in February after the bank’s global debt capital markets team held meetings at its UK headquarters, the FT said, basing its information on sources with direct knowledge of the facts.
A Santander spokesman said the bank takes “employee conduct issues very seriously” and is following “very rigorous processes to learn the facts and take appropriate action.”
He also added that the investigation and the measures taken are confidential, so he could not comment further.
Concerns about the incident and the fact that younger staff felt pressured to attend were raised with the bank’s compliance department by an internal whistleblower, the FT reported.
In response, Santander hired US law firm Gibson Dunn to conduct an internal investigation over the summer to establish the facts.
The law firm interviewed up to 15 people who participated in the night out — including seven people who attended the strip club — and concluded that no explicit pressure had been placed on younger staff members, according to a person with knowledge. knowledge of the process, cited by the FT.
Gibson Dunn was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Aislinn Laing and Cynthia Osterman, translated by Tomás Cobos)