Chicken Upgrades RBS

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As many of you know, some harsh words have been uttered in the direction of RBS around these parts, all of them deserved. The bank more or less blamed this innocent website for all its problems, be it billions in losses, failed food eating attempts, terrible holiday parties, the inability to pay bonuses for several years and a clogged toilet that resulted in the trading floor losing power for ten minutes and never once said thanks for giving its employees a momentary respite from the daily grind of fantasizing about a life that doesn't so closely resemble hell. Having decided they'd gotten their last kick out of seeing their follies and foibles chronicled, in May management decided to block all access to Dealbreaker from inside the Pleasuredome. And it went both ways. We were finished. Done. Finito. Our final reflections on the Royalest Bank of Stamford were written down here and although we consider ourselves loving, generous people, some unkind things were said, none of which I've ever felt the need to take back. Until now.

Guys. I was wrong about RBS. That became stunningly clear this afternoon. They are not humorless fucksticks and in fact know a thing or two about having some fun.

"I wish you had been here yesterday to witness the person in a chicken suit leading half the trading floor in the chicken dance for someone's birthday sometime in the afternoon. I shit you not.

It was some dude dressed in an old dirty yellow chicken suit. The kind you'd see someone outside a restaurant wearing, or something you'd don right before being greeted by Chris Hansen in an empty house. He had balloons for the birthday boy and performed the chicken dance. Right there. On the floor. I only caught the tail end (pun intended) of it but a good chunk of the surrounding desks were clapping along in unison. It looked like mostly legacy ABN-Amro people. The RBSGC people are too prestigious to participate."

The incredible, and most illuminating, thing here is not just that RBS would have someone dress up in a chicken suit for a team member's birthday but the fact that more than a handful of people were ready and willing to get up and dance. Most firms probably can't even get drunk employees to dance at Christmas parties, let alone on a Tuesday, let alone during market hours, let alone the chicken dance, let alone led by a guy in a chicken suit. RBS, you're alright.

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Layoffs/Hiring Watch '12: RBS

The bad news is that 600 of the Queen's corgis are being let go. The good news, while it probably comes as little solace to those who will no longer receive birthday chickens, is that 300 or so new ones will be hired in their place. State-backed lender Royal Bank of Scotland is making more than 600 staff redundant as a result of legislation due to come into force at the end of the year, bringing total staff reductions at the bank since its 2008 bailout to around 36,000. RBS, 82 percent owned by the government, said the jobs would go as a result of new UK rules requiring retail financial products such as savings and investment vehicles to be sold by more highly qualified staff and charged a fee. "As a response to this we will be reducing the number of roles by 618 across the UK and creating 351 new roles," an RBS spokesman said on Tuesday. "Having to cut jobs is the most difficult part of our work to rebuild RBS and repay taxpayers for their support. We continue to make efficiencies across our business to deliver greater value toour customers and shareholders," the spokesman added. RBS Job Loss Hits 36,000 [Reuters]