Top foreign exchange traders at Citibank took a Ferrari road trip around France last weekend while lower paid staff worked long hours to prepare for a possible Brexit, the Financial Times reports.
The FT alleges that five executives, most managing directors, took 1-3 days off to drive sports cars, including Ferraris, around France. The holiday is apparently an annual trip, but some staff are angry they did not choose to postpone or even cancel it while the bank works hard to prepare for the upcoming referendum on UK membership of the EU.
Citi’s FX division is working long hours to prepare for what could be a huge swing in the pound if there’s a so-called Brexit — a Britain’s exit from the European Union. One anonymous employee told the FT the timing of the trip was “insulting.”
The FT says the 5 bankers, which it claims include global head of G10 FX James Bindler, declined to comment and Citi told the paper preparations for the referendum “have been going on for many months, and they continue across all businesses.”
A British exit from the EU could lead to huge swings in currency and equity markets, with Morgan Stanley warning this week that stocks would fall 15% if the UK leaves.
Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, told BI last month: “We’re planning for a 20% fall in Sterling and a 20% rise in dollar, so a 40% move. We’re planning for an instant move – no trading and no liquidity in between the two moves. We’re always stress-testing our systems but this is such a big event that you have to plan on extremes.”
At the moment, it looks like Britain is on its way to leaving the European Union. A poll on Tuesday gave the Leave campaign a 7-point lead over its Remain rivals.