Marketplace Scratch Pad

A boring old Christmas

Scott Jagow Dec 18, 2009

And that’s a good thing. Banks are taking it easy on the holiday events this year. Many of them aren’t even remotely touching anything that potentially resembles a party. Others are shelling out a few bucks. The Royal Bank of Scotland will contribute 10 pounds a head ($16) for work parties. Party planners are saying, oh forget it, just go ice skating.

From Bloomberg:

Di Bailey, managing director at Planit Events Ltd., whose clients include HSBC Holdings Plc and Morgan Stanley, recommends employers spend about 80 pounds-a-head to ensure a “decent” party. Bailey said she couldn’t organize an event at a cost of 10 pounds-per-employee and recommended staff use the money to go ice-skating instead.

RBS is making as much as 10 pounds available per employee this year, a person familiar with the situation said. Two pints of Kronenbourg 1664 lager and a packet of salt and pepper- flavored crisps cost 8.21 pounds in the Master Gunner pub in London’s Broadgate district. An hour’s skating at the Tower of London Ice Rink costs 10 pounds an hour off-peak.

Meanwhile, stateside, Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack has decided to forgo his bonus for the third straight year. He’s the first big bank CEO to do so in 2009:

“It’s going to be the trend,” said Jeanne Branthover, head of financial services at New York-based Boyden Global Executive Search. “The top echelon is going to either forgo bonuses or take them in a non-cash way, deferring them. That is going to be very much the standard for this year because of everything that happened.”

Yeah, even the president won’t be getting a bonus, apparently:

Tom Toles, Washington Post

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