The CEO of RBS, Stephen Hester, thinks that bankers who throw flamboyant, over-the-top parties to celebrate big pay days are stupid.
Stephen Hester was recently questioned over banker excess by the UK Commons Treasury. Hester was called forward to comment after the Evening Standard published a story about about six i-bankers who won big on an election bet and celebrated by dropping almost $100,000 at a club in one night.
During the questioning, Hester basically had to sit in front of the committee and be scolded for being a bad banker parent, with a blow-by-blow account of the May party of bankers – even though they weren’t necessarily from RBS (no one knows which bank they’re from).
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The committee explained the night to Hester like this, according to the Evening Standard:
“They were consuming large quantities of drink, Cristal and the rest of it, chanting ‘Down with Brown, down with Brown’,” said Mr Umunna, MP for Streatham.
Absurd. Why does stuff like this happen? The committee asked Hester. Is it because they earn so much money?
“Would you accept Mr Hester that the investment bank fraternity is not exactly known to be shy in coming forward about the huge amounts that are earned in the sector?”
Hester responded, hilariously, because they’re stupid.
Mr Hester was clear in his condemnation of the bankers’ conduct last May. “I think anyone who would behave like that in any walk of life I would consider stupid,” he said.
The committee detailed how the six men in their mid-forties ordered the most expensive bottle of champagne at the bar (a six-litre vintage Cristal that cost ~$56,000); another Cristal valued at ~$8,000; and a $14,000 bottle of Dom Perignon.
They also described how the bankers had clearly arrived at the club “straight from the office”because they were still wearing their suits, and were encircled by 20 women and were “singing anti-Labour songs.”
Hester did try to emphasise that his problem with outlandish, drunken performances is not restricted to City bankers, but pretty much anyone who is “excessively boisterous in their public behaviour.”
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