Investment spanking anyone?
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Investment spanking anyone?

I can think of some bulge bracket MDs who I’m sure have dreamt of dishing out a spot of corporal punishment to discipline wayward juniors. For them, however, the idea is just that — an idea that would never see the light of day.

But it seems that is not always the case. I was nursing a whiskey at my local watering hole with an old friend this week when our conversation shifted to banking tactics — and to a story neither of us could quite believe.

Zhangze Rural Commercial Bank in China has been widely reported as having used a special 'training' method recently.

Eight of its trainees, half of them women, were apparently lined up on stage and roundly spanked with a chunky piece of wood while being berated for poor performance. The culprits were being made examples of for the kinds of mistakes that might only occur a Chinese training course — not having a personal breakthrough, not co-ordinating enough with the team and lacking courage.

My first thought was that it was a very late April Fool’s joke but when I saw the video — someone in the audience had helpfully filmed the whole debacle and posted it online — I couldn’t help but thank my lucky stars.

The worst I suffered in my early days was having to keep the bosses company while they drank the local pub dry — something I got used to very quickly. Of course, everyone had their guilty pleasures, but spanking? That was left well out of the public eye.