As few probably remember, back in February we pointed to an account of an anonymous group of London bankers spending £44,000 in one evening as indication that Team RBS may not have fared so badly in the bonus department (at the time they weren't ID'd as the Queen's bitches but we've got a sixth sense for these things). In addition to celebrating getting paid, the men were said to be in good spirits over the fact that they'd profited off the recent election, having "correctly guessed the results in constituencies over a large spread bet." Today, as in approximately ten months later, RBS chief Stephen Hester was asked his opinion about the celebration. He chose not to congratulate or take any pride at all in his employees' mad gambling skills.
Hester was questioned at the Commons Treasury select committee by Labour MP Chuka Umunna following a report in the Standard about a group of investment bankers who celebrated a huge payout from a bet on the election by running up a £60,000 bar bill. The six men ordered the most expensive bottle of champagne at the Merah nightclub in Fitzrovia - a methuselah of vintage Cristal at £36,000. They also asked for a jeroboam of Cristal at £5,000 and a methuselah of Dom Perignon, which was £9,000.
Appearing to have come straight from the office, they were soon surrounded by about 20 women, according to one witness, and were singing anti-Labour songs. "They were consuming large quantities of drink, Cristal and the rest of it, chanting 'Down with Brown, down with Brown'," said Mr Umunna, MP for Streatham.
Mr Hester was clear in his condemnation of the bankers' conduct last May. "I think anyone who would behave like that in any walk of life I would consider stupid," he said.
Over-the-top City parties are stupid, says RBS boss Stephen Hester [This Is London via BI]