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Squalor, abuse and theft: London's financial watchdog shames its staff's behavior

Key Points
  • Urinating on the floor, stealing plants and abusing catering staff - just some of the behavior being called out at London's financial watchdog office.
  • The chief operating office at London's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has upbraided workers in an open letter on the organization's intranet for their bad behavior, according to British media reports.
  • Georgina Philippou, the CFO of the watchdog, said the bad behavior and conditions were in the authority's £60 million ($54.4 million) offices.
A logo for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Urinating on the floor, stealing plants and abusing catering staff is not the kind of behavior you'd expect from people working for London's financial watchdog.

But the chief operating office at London's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has upbraided workers in an open letter on the organization's intranet for their bad behavior, according to British media reports.

Georgina Philippou, the CFO of the watchdog, said in her letter that the bad behavior and conditions witnessed in the authority's £60 million ($54.4 million) offices in Stratford, East London, included:

"Leaving cutlery and crockery in the kitchen areas, overflowing bins, stealing plants and charging cables from desks, catering and security teams being subject to verbal abuse, colleagues defecating on the floor in toilet cubicles on a particular floor, urinating on the floor in the men's toilets and leaving alcohol bottles in sanitary bins," the Evening Standard newspaper, which first reported the story, said Tuesday.

The FCA is an independent body charged with policing the U.K.'s financial sector. It is the conduct regulator for 59,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the country and is meant to secure protection for consumers and ensure the integrity of the U.K.'s financial system. It has the power to fine companies that break regulations. It has almost 4,000 members of staff in its London office.

Philippou reportedly hesitated before writing to staff but said keeping silent had not prompted a change in the "distasteful and shameful" behavior.

"You may have heard about some of these behaviours already and I'm sure others will come as a shock," she wrote, the paper reported.

"I did think long and hard about whether to disclose all these behaviours because they are so distasteful and shameful but keeping quiet has not got us far in terms of changing behaviours. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated here."

The FCA sent CNBC a statement in which a spokesperson said that "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 (Philippou) article, our staff agree."