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Singapore-based ANZ trader sues employer for defamation, seeking US$20m

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One of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group's (ANZ) most senior traders is suing the lender for defamation over its criticism of one of his social media posts.

[SYDNEY] One of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group's (ANZ) most senior traders is suing the lender for defamation over its criticism of one of his social media posts.

In early March Bogac Ozdemir, a Singapore-based global head of credit at the bank, wrote a post on LinkedIn that blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic and criticised the state of US society and politics. After his comments on China were attacked on social media, ANZ issued a statement later that month saying the post didn't reflect the bank's views and "showed a distinct lack of judgment".

Mr Ozdemir claims that the bank's comments were defamatory and is seeking damages of not less than US$20 million, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg. He further alleges in the filing that the ANZ statement was "made in response to pressure applied by Chinese financial regulators".

He filed the civil action in New York, according to the summons dated July 8.

A spokesperson for Melbourne-based ANZ Bank declined to comment, as did Mr Ozdemir. ANZ has yet to file a response to the filing.

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Last week, Mr Ozdemir provided a copy of the now-deleted post which sparked the controversy to Bloomberg.

Mr Ozdemir, whose full title is global head of credit, local markets and G-4 rates trading, has been at ANZ for seven years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He now resides in New Jersey, according to the filing.

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