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Morning Coffee: Ex-UBS banker laments bonuses wasted on frivolities. HSBC’s sharing past

Wasted banking bonuses

You will regret spending your bonus on tooth whiteners

If you spend nine years working at UBS’s investment bank, of which four are spent as a director in prime services in New York City, you might expect your finances to be reasonably sound. Or not. Rebecca Jackson did precisely that, and says she simply created a “bubble” of spending and, “squandered an incredible opportunity” to set herself up financially for the long term.

While she worked in banking, Jackson says her focus was continually upon increasing her income rather than monitoring her outgoings. She was so exhausted and short of time that sorting out spending commitments seemed too much to bother with. Although she had a good income, she also didn’t qualify for the services of a wealth manager or private banker.

As a result, Jackson somehow squandered much of the money she earned. Taxis and splurges on things like high end toothpastes and tooth whiteners ate away at her pay and it was only when she stopped working in banking and started being a freelancer with an erratic income that she realized the error of her financial services ways. “When I was making six-figures it was easy to kid myself that my finances were under control,” says Jackson. “Since leaving Wall Street, I’ve undergone a personal finance lobotomy.” You have been warned.

Separately, the revelations regarding Stuart Gulliver’s Panamanian bank account have alerted everyone to a warm fuzzy past in which everyone at HSBC knew how much everyone else was earning, In 1990s Hong Kong, Gulliver said HSBC’s computer system in the trading room had a glitch which allowed staff to access co-workers’ bank accounts and so determine how much they were paid. It was apparently for this reason that Gulliver – then HSBC’s biggest earner – put his money into a bank account in Panama instead.

Meanwhile:

Ex-Goldman Sachs banker turned chair of HSBC remuneration committee says regulatory changes to banking pay, “are excessive and are hindering our ability to communicate with any certainty to our current employees and potential employees the remuneration policies and structures that would apply to them.” (Guardian) 

In 2014 HSBC managed a cost to income ratio of 67 per cent. It had been aiming for the mid 50s. (Financial Times)  

Goldman Sachs just raised its ‘reasonably possible’ legal losses to $3bn. (WSJ)  

‘Rifkind said he usually charges “somewhere in the region of £5,000 to £8,000” for half a day’s work.’ (Guardian) 

Credit Suisse banker referred to client as ‘nutcase.’ (Bloomberg)  

Another trader mysteriously leaves BlueCrest. (Bloomberg) 

Sir David Walker is to join the board of Winton Capital as a non-executive chairman, freeing up founder David Harding to focus on expanding the £28 billion UK hedge fund manager into areas including fixed income. (Financial News)

23 year-old retail analyst achieves 15% reduction in value of stock he covers. (Evening Standard) 

How to keep your home life sane when things are going crazy at work. (HBR) 

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