You guys want to hang onto your clients? Get video production on the horn and find an empty parking garage ASAP (turn your volume down, this one’s on auto-play). Read more »

The London Evening Standard reports that 7 British traders (among them, BGC Partners’ head of FX options in London and a Citibank EM options guy) found themselves locked in a lift this week, following an evening of “eating sushi and drinking” with clients. Despite “shouting for help” and “pressing the emergency button,” the group was stuck for over three hours. In that time, they took a nap (captured by one of their cameras in the photo at left) and maybe did some other stuff not suitable for visuals? Read more »

“Even if a guy is really lazy and has done s*** all year, he’ll still get a £600,000 bonus.” Read more »

Remember the financial crisis? U.K. bank regulators do and what’s most memorable to them is just how badly their firms fucked that shit up. RBS, seriously? SERIOUSLY? And the rest of you weren’t much better. It’s something that keeps the FSA up at night and to be honest, confidence in your abilities to respond to another serious “situation” has not been restored. In fact, if we’re being completely open, RBS, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, all you guys right now are like a stoner who nearly burnt down the house because you absentmindedly left the stove on when you tried to make pot brownies and then wandered out of the room to look out cloud formations. If that wasn’t bad enough, you didn’t smell the smoke or see the flames and it was your neighbor who had to call the fire department and carry you outside. There’s no way anyone’s comfortable leaving you home alone again for the foreseeable future and you have them so freaked out they’ve been forced to treat you like imbeciles and make you go through a bunch of mock scenarios to see if you’d know how to react.

U.K. bank regulators are launching a new type of “stress test” that forces banks to consider unlikely but potentially disastrous scenarios…The latest exercise, which the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority instructed banks to start conducting in mid-December, is dubbed a “reverse stress test.” It requires banks to identify potentially fatal events and then to work backward to find ways to revamp their businesses so they would be better prepared to withstand such shocks.

So far those scenarios include what to do in the event of: a Latin American coup that knocks out a bank’s local operations; a disrupted food supply sparks social chaos; a major trade war erupts between the US and China; volcanic ash cloud grounds UK air traffic for months; and a flu pandemic wipes out a bank’s workforce. Read more »

Earlier this morning across the pond, Bob Diamond told the House of Commons Treasury Committee that while payouts will be distributed “responsibly,” Barclays employees will be awarded bonuses that reflect the work they’ve done this year and will not be dictated by some arbitrary cap. Why won’t BD listen to the repeated calls from the government and the people to limit pay? Because to do so would in essence be saying “sorry, we were wrong,” and guess what, Bub? The days when Barclays would get down on its hands and knees and beg for forgiveness from the masses are over. “There was a period of remorse and apology for banks,” Bobby said. “I think that period needs to be over.” And while we’re on the subject? Remind Bob again why exactly an institution like Barclays should even be apologizing for in the first place? It’s just not exactly clear to him given that you seem to have two types of banks in the UK- the kind like Barclays, which did nothing wrong and the kind like RBS, which can’t do anything right. And yet, they’re treated one and the same. Read more »

An employee of the "lapdance hangout," pleased with the turn of events.

I know I don’t need to tell you that there have been terrible consequences to the financial crisis. People have lost their homes. They’ve lost their jobs. Some have lost their wills to live. Many of those whose jobs remained intact saw their bonuses take a painful hit. One of the lesser known stories is that of the financial services employees who lost neither their jobs nor their sizable compensation package. They too have suffered, possibly even more so than the victims the media chose to focus on. Because they had the money to spend but couldn’t, for fear of coming off as insensitive, in these trying times. Oh, no, wouldn’t want to upset anyone, the thinking was. Today, however, some heartening news comes from across the pond. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.

A boom in hedonistic “greed is good” spending is sweeping through London after two years of recessionary restraint…West End stores, clubs and restaurants say they have been astounded by the sudden spike in guilt-free spending in recent weeks on a scale that would have been unthinkable even six months ago. Andrew Hawes, managing director of Bollinger UK, said it was currently impossible to get enough of its £120 a bottle Special Cuvée into Britain because demand is so strong. He said: “There was a time when people certainly didn’t want to be seen with an expensive bottle of champagne — but we’re past that phase now.”

It gets better. Read more »

This coming Sunday, a bunch of financial services employees will participate in a charity decathlon to “determine Wall Street’s best athlete.” The competition features ten events which include pull-ups, a 400 meter dash, a vertical jump and bench pressing and is only open to those who work in the industry. The money raised will benefit Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong Foundation and go toward funding cancer research. Speaking of which: who wants to finding a cure for the disease and who could take it or leave it? The events organizers have helpfully broken things down on their site. Read more »

“I cannot explain why I did this, it is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners,” Mary Bale, the woman who threw a Tabby cat in the trash last week, said. “It was a split second of misjudgment that has got completely out of control.” Miss Bale said she was just walking home on Saturday when she saw the cat and decided to play with it. But she told the Sun that she “suddenly thought it would be funny” to put it in the bin. “I did it as a joke because I thought it would be funny. I never thought it would be trapped, I expected it to wriggle out,” she said. A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “This is now an RSPCA case. Mary Bale has been interviewed by an RSPCA inspector and a full file is being compiled and will be sent for review by the prosecutions department.” While Miss Bale admitted she should not have done it, she said she did not deserve to be ‘hated’ by everyone and assumed the cat would find its own way out of the bin. Her mother also insisted the unmarried bank clerk “loved cats”- and had even kept them as pets as a child. [DM via BI]