They may read the Financial Times every day but it seems that a lot of bankers still don’t get what’s happening. For many, life in the financial sector is going on pretty much as it did before. The Telegraph has been talking to some City headhunters who see the same detachment from reality, especially when it comes to the prospect of eighty percent cuts or even zero bonuses:
“There are a lot of bankers out there who just don’t seem to realise that they are not going to be paid,” said one headhunter. “This is going to be a real wake up and smell the coffee moment.”
It’s many years since I left the world of investment banking. Unless you have worked for one, it is difficult to imagine the near-paralysis a bank goes into as the annual bonus round approaches. Bonus pots are modelled, cut and re-cut in what must among be the most convoluted pay review processes I have ever seen in any organisation. As usual, City HR managers will be burning the midnight oil over the next few weeks.
But, while I’m glad I’m no longer involved in it, I’d love to be a fly on the wall when bankers are told that they will get nothing this year. The tantrums and the righteous indignation will be truly spectacular.