A gay banker has lodged a claim against HSBC seeking a record £5 million in compensation, following allegations that he was fired because of his sexuality. Peter Lewis, a senior investment banker and former global head of equity trading, claims that he was sacked by the bank from his £1 million a year job because he was openly gay, depite the fact that the bank cited the reason of "gross personal misconduct" for his dismissal.

It is believed that this sacking was the result of an encounter between Mr Lewis and another male colleague during office hours that let to a complaint of sexual harassment. This is the biggest case seen so far before a tribunal since the new rules on sexual orientation discrimination came into force last year. The hearing is due to be heard in March 2006.

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