A married senior banker was "pimped out" by her boss in a bid to get a wealthy Arab client to open an account with £25 million, a tribunal was told.

Suemaya Gerrard, 36, a relationship manager at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, claimed the client bombarded her with love songs and inappropriate text messages.

But her boss, chief administrative officer Jawdat Jawdat, put pressure on her to go out to dinner with the man and she was threatened with the sack if she did not go, the hearing was told.

She confided in a colleague, who told her "he is acting like your pimp", it is claimed.

After a failed attempt to lodge a grievance against her boss, she eventually resigned from the bank last November, and is suing it for sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and constructive dismissal.

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The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank in London where Suemaya Gerrard worked

Mrs Gerrard, from Norbiton, is seeking £80,000 from the Knightsbridge-based bank.

In her witness statement, she said: "This gentleman made it clear that he was attracted to me.

"'Client A' made use of my telephone to send me love songs and use terms of endearment that I found inappropriate.”

She said she told her line manager, Kassel Jarrah, Mr Jawdat and other senior staff about the client’s behaviour.

Mrs Gerrard continued: "Although I was not completely happy with the situation, I believed that if I maintained a professional attitude and refused to countenance any crossing of the line in respect of 'Client A's' behaviour, I would be able to continue as the relationship manager.”

However, she said matters came to a head on May 17 last year, when she was told by Mr Jawdat to invite the client to an England international match at Wembley Stadium.

She said: “To my mind the sub-text was quite clear. Mr Jawdat was aware of 'Client A's' partiality for me and wished to use that to further the business connection.

“'Client A' was not immediately available, but he rang me later and said that he was not interested in football but was interested still in taking me out to dinner.

“There was no business reason for such a dinner that was to be held late in the evening.

“I declined the offer politely but 'Client A' kept on insisting to invite me out for dinner.”

Mrs Gerrard suggested to the client going for lunch with her and Mr Jawdat, but he did not like the idea and said “I want to drop you home and have a present I want to give you”, it is claimed.

She said: “When I reported the conversation to Mr Jawdat he seemed annoyed.

“He told me that I had to accept the dinner invitation and not lunch and he also threatened me by saying 'if you cancel or call off sick I will sack you'.

“I replied that he knew that I was a married woman with children and that I could not do it. Mr Jawdat then stated I was in the wrong profession.

“I informed my work colleague Mrs Shukri Hassan upon leaving the meeting of what had happened and how Mr Jawdat behaved.

“Mrs Shukri Hassan stated 'he is acting like your pimp'.”

The customer arrived at the bank later that day for a coffee, and grasped and squeezed her hand, Mrs Gerrard said.

But rather than support her, Mr Jawdat went for a cigarette with the client’s colleague, leaving her alone with him as he mentioned dinner again, it is claimed.

After telling her husband about it, she contacted her union representative, Geoff Saunders, who advised her to raise a formal grievance against Mr Jawdat.

Giving evidence, Mrs Gerrard said: " I didn't feel I was uncomfortable going to work because of the client.

"But what I was uncomfortable with is basically the pressure which was put on me to go out with the client for dinner."

Talia Barsam, representing the bank, said: "It's right, isn't it, you were very proud of how you handled your relationship with Client A?"

She responded: "I was, because I kept it professional. And the customer was going to bring £25million to the bank.

"There was huge pressure for me to get that money."

The tribunal heard Mrs Gerrard "initiated contact" with the client throughout early 2016, including inviting him to the office for a coffee on May 17.

Ms Barsam said: "There is certainly no sense here that you are uncomfortable or you don't want to see the client."

Mrs Gerrard replied: "In the branch, yes, I had no issue meeting the client. I had an office in the middle of the banking hall.

“It would be in front of the receptionist."

Central London Employment Tribunal heard the client wrote "your wish is my command", and she replied with a smiley face – but she said she was just being “polite”.

The client also texted her saying "hello my rosy flower", it was said.

Asked if that was normal, Mrs Gerrard said: "There is more to it. If you want to greet somebody, either you greet them by 'hello', or 'peace be on you'.

"You don't greet, especially an Arabic lady, especially from a male customer, 'hello my rosy flower'."

After he visited on May 17, she texted the customer saying "I was happy for your visit, you lit us up".

But Mrs Gerrard said: "This is a very professional way of thanking somebody for coming to visit you.

"That is basic manners in Arabic."

She added: "Some of the text messages I deleted because my husband saw them, and said 'what is this'.

"And therefore I deleted some of the love songs. Because it was my marriage on the line.

"He was up at 3 o'clock in the morning and he saw flowers and love songs. It caused a huge row."

The bank and Mr Jawdat deny all the allegations.

Ms Barsam claimed Mrs Gerrard had threatened to go to the press if she didn't receive a pay-off.

Cross-examining Mrs Gerrard she said: "Was it the case you were hoping somebody was going to come to you and offer you some money?

"Is it right you realised if you didn't resign you wouldn't have a claim that was worth very much?"

Ms Barsam said: "You are basically threatening if you are not paid a sum of money. It's a threat, isn't it, to the bank?"

Mrs Gerrard said: "I wanted to make everyone know this is unfortunate in a British society where everyone is equal. Women have got rights, but unfortunately the Arabic culture is being implemented here."

Mr Jawdat claimed it was normal practice to entertain clients.

He said: "Regardless of gender, regardless of customer, we always interact with customers and we always dine with customer. That it, that's exactly what happened that day."

The hearing continues.