As the season of goodwill approaches, investment banks and their like are bang in the middle of the subprime blues. So exactly how much, if anything, will they shell out for the annual staff Xmas piss-up ?
Staff Christmas parties (at least those paid for by the banks themselves) are not as fashionable as they once were. Many firms are worried about legless employees acting stupid on the night and bringing their name into disrepute. And, in these politically correct days we live in, making lewd remarks to female staffers or being crude to the gays and lesbians on the payroll, could result in unwelcome press headlines, and even a day in court.
So, as Christmas 2007 approaches, staff may find that they face a double Xmas Party whammy - no funding from hard up firms and a reluctance to support an event for pissed-up employees.
Let us know what the position is at your firm. Use the 'Comment' button immediately below to send in the arrangements (if any) your firm has to support its staff Xmas party this year.
(As usual, all comments will be posted on an anonymous basis).
'In IT we were initially told that there would absolutely be no party this year (no money, no expenses). After much executive debate, however, we're on - it will be the 'last ABN party', and we're off to the Aquarium. Doing it early (on the 29th November), while there's still a few of us left working here!'.
'Equities will have a party - they've told us to keep one Friday in December free. This year we will be no doubt celebrating our 'partnership' with RBS!'.
Bank of America
London - 'No Xmas Party here this year - just some free lunch in the staff canteen'.
Bank of New York
'We're having a big bash this year on the grounds of The Tower of London'.
'We're having a 'Moulin Rouge' themed dinner / dance evening. All fully expensed by the company'.
'We're having a lovely bash at the Hilton Waldorf - with entertainment, dinner, dancing, etc. We all go to the same party here, as we're very democratic!'.
'Well, last year our CEO and his band played at our Christmas Party (to save money on hiring a real band, I guess!). Not sure what's going on here this year.
'Last year the booze ran out at 10pm!'.
'We're off to a do at Billingsgate - food, beer, wine, band (not sure who). And maybe bumper cars!'.
'We're off to the Planit Events gig on Embankment for a James Bond themed evening. Partners are also invited'.
'Goldman back office staff are having a do at The Tower of London this year'.
HSBC Investment Bank
'Nothing at bloody HSBC - yet again. My first year here the 'big party' got cancelled. The second year they screwed up the invites to non-front office types - half got invited, half didn't (I didn't!). This year the 'big party' is off again. But we are getting £10-a-head (I shit you not) for small parties by team. Yippee ki-yay!'.
Party at The Brewery in Chiswell St - same venue as last year. A sit-down meal, beers and vino. All night varied entertainment. Senior management all in attendance. Invites extended throughout the firm'.
'We're holding a party at London Bridge'.
'I hear their Xmas party has been canned'.
'We're off to Fabric!'.
'We always have a great bash. Three course meal, drinks and entertainment. Last year the theme was 'Magical Mystery', where we had tarot card readers and artisits on hand to draw caricatures of people. Senior Management let their hair done and every one had a great night'.
'State Street Edinburgh always have a great Xmas bash. Themes have included Vegas as well as the 'Magical Mystery' do.
UBS Investment Bank
'No firmwide party here - but in IT in the US and the UK we have managed to bag sponsored events (even if the big bosses are doing their best to block them). I'd be shocked if the front office didn't also have a party'.
'Operations is having two company sponsored events - one departmental at a local pub, and the other at the Tower of London'.
'UBS Investment Bank never has a firmwide do - there's too many of us in London to get into one venue'.
'My, am I glad that I'm a recruiter and not a banker at the moment! We're having a magnificant bash, all expenses paid, on a 3-storey junk restaurant in Hong Kong. The only problem is that the theme is 'school girls' - yep, everyone from the hairy-bear boss and the biggest fee-earner to the office junior will have to shave their legs (even the ladies!) and put on a skirt and pigtails. Thanks to all our banking clients for the fees this year - we'll raise our glasses to you!!'.