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Head banker leaves job over Muslim gaffe

Ill-advised quip

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A senior banking industry figure has left his job after making a joke about Muslims which reportedly stunned colleagues and was the subject of complaints. Marc Howells of Barclaycard Europe has left his post.

Howells was discussing quarterly figures with staff when he is reported as saying: "The results were like Muslims – some were good, some were Shi'ite".

The remark was reported to senior management and a complaint was made. It is understood that Howells has left in what has been called 'redundancy under compromise'. He was the head of Barclaycard in Europe.

Barclaycard will not comment directly on Howells and his leaving of the company, but company sources told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "Once word got round and a complaint was made he was toast. Part of the deal was that the circumstances of his departure must never be disclosed. But there was no chance of that once his Shi'ite joke started doing the rounds."

"We have nothing to add on this particular case," said a Barclaycard statement. "Everybody who works here gets guidance of what is right and what is wrong. We have a robust approach to equality and diversity and do not tolerate discrimination."

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