July 18th, 2012
Image by WilliamBanzai7
A friend who works for for Barclays told me what the culture is now like at such banks these days. In response to a question about how bankers have changed — in terms of culture, motivations, behaviour — over the past two decades, he said:
“I have the advantage of having worked here 25 years ago and comparing the differences. There is a difference between Mayer Amschel Rothschild amassing his fortune and a tribe of ‘masters of the universe’, locust-like, pillaging their way through OPM (other people’s money). There has been a seismic change in culture.
First, clients are no longer the primary focus, but are regarded as muppets and ‘pains’. Second, with the constant fear of being sacked, passed over, pushed aside, no-one wants to whistle blow. There is a fear culture developing. The cultural change required is going to be enormous.”
And, to get a flavour of the sort of ‘entertainment’ that City traders are accustomed to enjoying after work, take a look at this short video the Square Mile Summer Festival Party, held in Shoreditch on July 13th, 2012. It sure looks fun.