One banker’s treasure is another’s trash
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One banker’s treasure is another’s trash

We bankers love to whinge about our bonuses, or what we see as a lack thereof. But when a young friend of mine told me he felt sorry for some chaps at banks that weren’t getting any bonuses this year, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Of course, everyone would like a bit more cash in their wallet, but some of these guys aren’t exactly hurting for funds as I realised this week.

I was at this esteemed magazine’s New Year awards drinks in Hong Kong this week, finding it to be the perfect time to catch up on the gossip with some old cronies. And I wasn’t disappointed as one DCM banker was regaling me with tales from a work trip to Tokyo.

He decided to treat himself to an extra few days off in the city after a tiresome work week, having won a free weekend stay in the Peninsula Hotel in a lucky draw a few months before. Then, much to his dismay, he realised that his gift certificate had expired.

Despite his disappointment at losing the free extravagance, he shook it off and pampered himself with a weekend stay nonetheless.

But apparently a lost Peninsula weekend is nothing. Another chum smiled wryly as he told us about opening an office drawer a few days ago, only to discover an uncashed cheque from his bank for HK$45,000. The cheque was well past its cash date, making it worthless.

He didn’t seem too concerned though, as he laughed it off and ordered another round of drinks. I’m guessing his bonus has remained intact!