In banking it pays to have a set of goals
Another week and another bank has announced a round of cuts. If it continues like this, we bankers are going to become an endangered species — especially as the current earnings season isn’t providing any joy either.
All this constant news about reducing headcounts and cutting costs is really taking its toll on the morale of the market. At least that is what I thought until a rather boozy evening at the Hong Kong Club with a friend of mine.
The poor sod is at one of the banks whose leadership — under pressure from clueless politicians — has decided to reduce Asia operations so that they are little better than a service centre for the offices in London and New York.
I offered my sympathies as he told me about the empty offices that are now dotted around their building. But far from being morose, my friend said they were making the most of the new found space, including turning the corner office of his now departed boss into a chill-out room complete with table football. Bankers being bankers, they’ve got a league table, which my friend was more than a little proud to be leading.
Problem is, other parts of the bank have heard about their renovations and want to get in on the act, but not without a bit of one-upmanship. Apparently the chaps on the floor below have got an order in for a table football that can also turn into a beer pong table. I guess next time a bank chief executive talks about realigning priorities, I’ll know what he means!