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Those traders on Twitter? They’re in the toilets

Bankers on Twitter

Where the tweeting takes place

Bankers don’t live in the real world. They earn more. They work more.  And they have access to internet sites that everyone else takes for granted severely curtailed.

It’s a bit like living in China, but with more perks.

The extent to which banks are able to stop the fully grown men and women in their employ from accessing websites of their choice is illustrated by J.P. Morgan’s sudden decision to block the Financial Times’ site. In this case, the move admittedly seems to have been inspired by J.P. Morgan employees’ own idiocy (they were copying and pasting the FT’s copyrighted content and sharing among themselves when J.P.M doesn’t have a corporate license), but J.P. Morgan has form.

This isn’t the first time it’s taken a heavy hand over employees’ internet use. Nor is it the only bank to do so.

In March last year J.P. Morgan tried to stop its naughty technology employees from posting detailed profiles on LinkedIn.  Dana Deasy, J.P.M’s global head of technology sent a memo commanding everyone in his team to divulge no more than their names, their corporate title and a generic description of the bank they work for (J.P. Morgan) on the site. He also added a little bit of mandatory wording of his own.

Obviously, J.P. Morgan isn’t the only bank to keep a firm grip on what employees do on the internet. A Goldman employee told us he has no access to “social media at all,” at work. Goldman employees can use LinkedIn, but not LinkedIn messaging. A trader at another firm says the list of blocked sites is long: “Twitter, Facebook, all email things like gmail/hotmail are blocked.”

In theory, the trader says it’s possible to ask management to have sites unblocked. In reality, he says it doesn’t happen: “If you want something unblocked, say some legit market news or economics site, it’s basically impossible. They’re usually like, “Sure you can have it unlocked, just go to the global head of XXX who reports direct to the CEO and have him sign off on it!!” So realistically v hard to get access.”

How is it therefore that ‘bankers’ can be found frequenting Twitter or sending personal emails during working hours. They’re using personal phones – and given that these are typically banned from trading floors, the traders are among them are either in the toilet or out for lunch.


Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com


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