CITY DIARY

The move to undress corporate executives gathers pace in the City. Recently implemented at SBC Warburg, some long-time staffers are still trying to get their head around the sans-tie scenario allowed. Even the doormen are shocked. One failed to recognise SBC chief executive Marcel Ospel and tried to stop him entering the bank because he was without a tie.

But when the likes of an ultra conservative Japanese house tries dressing- down, you know the trend is endemic. This time it's Nomura's turn to get its kit off for an experimental two month period. Each Friday workers will be able to work in more relaxed garb unless meeting clients or ascending to the executive ninth floor.

A spokesman for Nomura said the idea was to capitalise on the warm weather and ease employees into the idea. Judging by last Friday's turn-out Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts are still along way off.

Andrew Buxton, chairman of Barclays bank, which reports interims today, is being accused of de-skilling the finance industry. Its staff union, UNiFI, has complained that the bank is employing school children to do book-keeping and cashiering work in under staffed branches.

It says this is "clear evidence of further casualisation and de-skilling of the finance industry." The bank however counters that the potential work-experience programme is merely theoretical until the Autumn school term starts and that placements would only carry out back office functions.

Rather more photocopying and paper clip twiddling than de-skilling of the finance industry.

Whopping great big ones - lies that is - are what wins you the ancient Peruvian dice game of Perudo. If you want to be really trendy in the City this summer chuck out the chess and equip yourself with dice and cups instead.

The board game was discovered by Cosmo Fry and his business partner, Alfredo Ferandini while travelling in South America five years ago.

Fry has now sold the rights to board game maker Hasbro - enabling a wider audience to fib to colleagues and get away with it.

Perudo looks likely to follow in the footsteps of the cult of Trivial Pursuit and is launched at the trendy Groucho Club tomorrow.

One person who was central to establishing Perudo in its current format won't be making an appearance. But then it is more than 400 years since the death of Atahualpa, the Emperor of the Incas.

Champagne all round for the board of pharmaceutical company, Scotia Holding tonight as it bids farewell to its octogenarian Mr Fixit, Sir Ian Morrow, at Le Gavroche. When Sir Ian was persuaded by chief executive David Horrobin to join Scotia in 1981, the company was tiny with a value of well under pounds 1m and in considerable difficulty. Now 82, Sir Ian, who once said that "age should not be considered an absolute barrier any more than youth should be considered a virtue," decided to stick around. Scotia's market capitalisation is now greater than that of Hambros. Sir Ian will be joined by Sir James McKinnon, an old friend and colleague of Sir Ian's, who succeeds him as chairman.

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