City firms vow to tackle the bully menace

City firms have insisted they are tackling bullying following a payout of more than £800,000 to a company secretary who was subjected to a four-year campaign of harassment at Deutsche Bank.

Helen Green, a company secretary assistant at the bank between October 1997 and October 2001, had a nervous breakdown after being bullied by four colleagues in the “department from hell”.

Deutsche Bank Group Services now faces a payout of more than £1m in damages and costs after the High Court found that the bank’s management was “weak and ineffectual”.

Green warned that bullying was rife in the City. “Now all City businesses will have to do more than pay lip service to this hidden menace,” she said.

But Mark Hoodless, deputy chairman of the City Personnel Group, an HR membership association for the financial services sector, said: “City employers now take bullying very seriously. It’s not nearly as prevalent as a few years ago.”

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