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London Finance Workers Describe A Local Culture That Sounds Like A Mashup Between 1980s Wall Street And Dante's Inferno

For some, no Brexit will ever be hard enough.

We've been talking a lot lately about how bad Brexit will be for London's finance scene, but it turns out that London financiers might already be in hell.


According to efinancialcareers, a British doctoral philosophy student named Louise Nash has been interviewing City types in an attempt to understand how they perceive London's financial scene:

Nash asked a selection of 18 ‘bankers’ (many of them weren’t in the front office, but in HR, or PR (media relations), or IT roles in finance) to describe their experiences of working in the City for her thesis on, “Place and Performativity in the City of London.” 

The results were hilariously haunting:

Nash asked, for example, what colour the City was. Most of them said red or black, and not in a good way. Anna, a part time press and communications officer for a bank, said it was black. Black in the sense of a “black hole,” or something, “monstrous.” Claire, an ex-investment banker now working in arts funding, said the City was red in the sense of, ‘hell, heat and discomfort.’ Some of the men were a bit more cheery: one said he thought the City was black, but in, “a sort of shiny black, modern,” way. Only one person (a woman) thought it was dynamically orange.

Blimey! If the HR manager thinks that The City is a black hellscape, imagine how the traders feel. Or the people trapped inisde the labyrinthine netherworld of eternal torment that is London's UBS HQ:

“There is just something in the air here…it becomes like an addiction,” said Claire, who also complained of feeling oppressed by Broadgate Circus (where UBS is based): “…once you were in it was quite difficult to find your way. And trying to get out again was impossible.”

And for some, The City is not so much an abyss of perpetual suffering and agony, but something much, much worse; a British re-creation of Manhattan circa 1986:

Nash elicited complaints about the drinking culture in the City of London. Neil informed her that people, “go wild” in the evenings, but that they do so “behind closed doors.” Jennifer, a chartered surveyor who’s now got a portfolio career (but worked on property deals in the past) complained that the partying was more public: “You go home at night and you see people kind of fallen over in the gutter.” Jennifer said that in her experience of “attending 20 hour meetings,” whilst doing “big deals,” drug taking was the norm: “You’d go into the loo about half 11 at night and there’d be somebody there just openly taking cocaine.”

Rippin' blow and shitfaced snoring in gutters? That's called "Success" you haughty Limeys! And speaking of learning how to replicate a toxic culture built around financial services, one must never skimp on the unvarnished misogyny:

Nash pressed her interviewees on the extent to which the perceived the City as a masculine place. Claire complained the City is, “deliberately designed to exclude…‘normal life’…‘schools, hospitals, children, parks.’ When she was pregnant, Jennifer said she’d been subject to outrageous bets on whether her belly would get bigger than her boobs, and sent to Boots for breast-pads when she started leaking milk (there weren’t any breast pads at the Boots in the City). 

Umm, wow, you guys are taking that shit to a whole new level. Even the finance bro who humped Fearless Girl is thinking that's pretty fucking dark.

But if everything in London finance is so terrible, why hasn't everyone fled to places where everything is quiet and nothing ever happens? Like Frankfurt?

The biggest plus point was, predictably, the pay. Anna in HR said, “I like the fact that I still get paid more here than I would anywhere else.” Elizabeth, a partner in a professional services firm, was by far the most enthusiastic, telling Nash that working in the City is, “infinitely rewarding.”

As Queen Elizabeth II would say "Whoomp, there it is."

Bankers have been complaining about their lives to a student [efinancialcareers]



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