Banks avoid Christmas parties so as not to offend the public

With the increase in scandals and the number of banks still dependent on the public purse, the 2013 Christmas party season for most banks is about decency over corruption.

Big festive parties are being avoided for fear of an angry public. Some events are even being switched to January when having such parties is cheaper. Some financial institutions are even opting for carol concerts in order to raise money for charity.

According to a senior investment banker, it is important for them not to be seen to be enjoying themselves. Before the global financial crisis that took place in 2008, a specially erected tent n London’s Canary Wharf offered Christmas bashes that had a sit-down dinner, some champagne and a band for banks like HSBC and Lehman Brothers.

Five years down the line, Lehman Brothers no longer exists, and parties for employees are very rare. Currently, London’s financial institutions are chipping in some modest sums between £20 and £50 per head for Christmas while in some companies employees are funding their own Christmas celebrations.

According to Ruth Lawton-Owen, the sales and marketing director for event firms Blue Strawberry and Table Talk that has major investment companies and banks as its major clients, indicated that since 2009 when the recession hit really hard, there has been an increase in client awareness about what is considered decent.

The Largest bank in Europe, HSBC did not comment on how its employees would celebrate this year. Currently, entertainment budgets are mainly dedicated to clients and parties need to have a clear business mind. Lawton-Owen added that at the moment no-one would throw their money any more, if there is a party, the boss would want to know from employees, if they were able to get business deals from the party. She went on to say that most events take place in January when firms can be able to negotiate better deals.