Lest you were thinking that banks’ many and varied initiatives to curtail crazy working hours have completely transformed the industry and led to everyone going home at 6pm – if not sometimes 7.30pm, one former senior banker would like to disavail you of your error: things are exactly the same as ever they were.
“I have two children who work in banking,” he said, speaking at yesterday’s panel on banking culture reform at the London School of Economics’ Systemic Risk Centre, “They both work until two or three am in the morning – nothing has changed.”
For all banks’ efforts to give people time off at weekends, the ex-MD, who asked to remain anonymous, said firms also do their utmost to keep people in the office for as long possible during weekdays. “They give them everything they need to stay – you get a meal if you work after 8pm, there’s a doctor there, you can get your clothes cleaned…”
He added that the only thing that has changed is young bankers’ attitude to pay. “- In the past, we used to talk about bonuses for six months of the year. Now they talk about them for four.”