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AsiaAsia CommentTaipan

There’s more than one way to break the bank

Working in finance is a high stress job. Bankers work long hours, with the constant pressure of looking after clients’ money dangling over them.

Every banker has his own way of dealing with the stress of course — be it a cocktail or 10, exercise, or late nights in Wanchai. But some of their methods are coming under fire from their bosses.

At least one Hong Kong bank is trying to put a stop to its traders’ outbursts of anger in the office, as they’ve been racking up unwanted bills. Traders can be notoriously testy, prone to fits of rage when things don’t go their way, but yelling and profanities are just the tip of the iceberg. What you have to watch out for on the trading floor are flying pieces of office equipment.

Traders can become so aggressive when slamming down their phones that they shatter the receivers. Likewise, bankers sometimes throw their keyboards, or crush them with their fists.

Things have got to the point that the Hong Kong bank's management, fed up with replacing basic office equipment so frequently, has instituted a cap for its traders. Break up to three keyboards or phones and the company will replace them. But if you insist on indulging your rage-filled habit further, you’ll be footing the bill.

I’ll be curious to see how many traders care about these new limits, and how many choose to continue taking their anger out on the equipment. Perhaps the banks would be better off investing in some anger management courses, or an office punching bag. Or better yet, maybe they could offer in-house massages to magic away the tension. Now, I know just the right people for that.