City People

WHAT'S GOING on in the City? First dress-down Friday, and now Merrill Lynch has told staff that they can dress down every day of the week during summer. "It's at the discretion of individual units," the bank says, confirming that debt markets and equity markets have already adopted the casual dress policy.

Iain Chippendale, chief executive of Direct Line, is another gung-ho tie-hater. A fan of the open-neck, he hopes to extend the policy to all Direct Line's workers, every day. "People always want to wear casual clothes when we have training days on a Saturday because it helps them be relaxed and think creatively," he says. Where will it all end?


AS THE CITY quivered with fear last week at the sight of thousands of demonstrators against third world debt and capitalism, the protesters were joined by an unlikely ally. George Milling-Stanley, a leading light at the World Gold Council, is in the UK as part of a worldwide campaign against the West's attitude to the gold market.

His gripe? Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, is aggravating developing countries' problems by selling off billions of pounds worth of the UK's gold reserves. Gold-exporting developing countries will struggle to find a decent price, he says, defeating the object of reducing their debt. Wonder what the anarchists make of that?


SIR GEORGE MATHEWSON, the combative chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, is said to be revelling in his status as a north-of-the-border Braveheart. Especially now he has a vulnerable English prey in his sites, the leaderless Barclays Bank.

Hostile takeover or no, Barclays shareholders may be interested to know about RBS's tremendous organisation and management. This was fully in evidence as the Scottish bank held its summer party - in London of course, on board the Barracuda yacht on the Thames. Sadly, the fun-loving Scots, having decided to shut the bar no later than 10pm, then ordered 30 or so bemused bankers and their guests up 10 flights of stairs to the American Bar at the Savoy.

Such was the alarm caused by the invaders that a top-hatted groom and his newly wed bride promptly fled the bar, leaving a very distressed Italian waiter.

He urged the thirsty bankers to take a pew while the drinks were ordered, but took half an hour to return with the refreshments. Let's hope RBS's takeovers are more fun.


THE DIRECTORS of Celltech and Chiroscience seemed terribly happy, if lacking in imagination, when they announced their merger as, er, Celltech- Chiroscience last week. But convincing employees to sacrifice their independence may not be easy.

After addressing nervous staffers upon his return from a whirlwind tour of City investors, Chiroscience's outgoing chief executive, John Padfield, was asked: "Will the merger have any effect on summer events like the family fun-day?" Padfield's reassuring denial was followed by the social committee's admission that it had ordered hundreds of T-shirts for the big day, emblazoned with "Chiroscience into the New Millennium". Hadn't they been listening to Mr Padfield's predictions that the biotech sector was ripe for consolidation?


HAS Sir Neville Simms, the boss of Tarmac's newly christened Carillion construction business, succumbed to delusions of grandeur?

Analysts attending Tarmac's presentation on the demerger of Sir Neville's new distraction asked the great man why he was taking on the responsibilities of both chief executive and chairman. Never one for false modesty, Sir Neville happily informed them that "no one else has experience of running a plc". Goodness gracious. The market will surely crash once the news gets out.


NORTON ROSE, the pukka City law firm, took no chances on Friday as anarchists swept through the City. The firm has been victim to protesters disapproving of its success in advising capitalist clients before. Trapped insiders say employees were banned from going to lunch. Instead, one brave colleague nipped to the deli on their behalf. Whether this marks a general shift to centralised planning in the firm is unclear.


LESS TIMID was the response of a Dutch bank to Friday's action. Traders took delight in tossing photocopies of pounds 50 notes from the windows to disgusted anarchists below.

One member of the institution expressed surprise at such imaginative use of the copier. "Are you sure they didn't copy their bums?" she wondered.

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
Life and Style
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

£35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches