There are all sorts of legends about banking — terrible bosses, epic deals, jaw dropping golden parachutes — but if you really want a good story, you have to talk about banking and drugs.So let’s do that.
The Guardian’s Banking blogger, Joren Luyendijk, sat down with an ex-banker and London’s ‘The City’ who says that his entire life was almost destroyed by drug abuse while he was working in finance. He did it, he said, to entertain clients and to relax from his job.
The craziest part, from what we can see, is how easy it was.
You call your dealer who is driving around town in his car. He picks you up, you get in, and he tells you to open that box, take out the drugs and put in the cash. Or you pay by bank transfer. I swear that happens, you sit there taking the guy’s banking sort code.”These are not your stereotypical dealers. They are white, dressed in a suit, middle-aged… They have business cards. They understand the demographic they are servicing extremely well…
“It was not only coke and I’d have this code language with clients. I’d ask what kind of music he liked. If he said indy, we might go to a concert and smoke weed. If it was house music then I’d get ecstasy or MDMA or ketamine…
“There are striking parallels between drug addiction and aspects of banking. Every junkie will say they’re not addicted, they just want to take ‘one more hit’. Many bankers say they want to get out of the industry, but not before one more bonus.
The bonuses, these days, are obviously harder to get than the drugs.