Pembroke: Bank staff test the Watermark

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Bank of England employees were given the chance to potter around on the staff boat this week before they decide if they would like to book it for their summer holidays. The Watermark, a narrow boat bought by the Old Lady's boating society in the 1980s for pounds 40,000, was moored on a canal in Islington, north London on Thursday. Damned fine it looked too. In smart green and black livery, it even sports the dates 1694-1994, added to acknowledge the bank's 300th anniversary.

The bank is quite big on boats. It also has a 42ft yacht called Ingotism moored near Southampton. Eddie George, who is commodore of the bank's Sailing Association, uses the yacht but is not thought to have availed himself of the smaller yet perfectly formed Watermark. This weekend the narrow boat will wend its way slowly back to its regular spot in Burton-on-Trent.

Guinness Mahon, the merchant bank being nursed back to health by the serious smoker David Potter, has made another move in the private banking sector. Having re-launched its private banking arm last autumn it has now appointed Stuart Wells, former head of personal banking at Coutts, as a non-executive director. Mr Wells, who spent 30 years with Coutts, left after a reshuffle earlier this year.

At 53 he will add a few grey hairs to the bank's young team, which now includes four Coutts old boys. 'If you're taking on a Marchioness or something, they sometimes like to meet someone a bit older,' says Michael Symonds, director of GM's private bank and another ex-Coutts chappie.

Mr Wells has made the most of his time off. As well as putting in a few hours on his old MG, he has just returned from an eight-week trip around the world which took in Hong Kong, Hawaii and a cruise off the Great Barrier Reef. 'I couldn't see another chance when I would be able to take such a long time off,' he says.

He denies he has been appointed to poach clients from Coutts. 'I'm not into that. I don't think it's right,' he says. Asked if Coutts was concerned that it might lose some of its top-notch clients, a Coutts spokesman loftily said: 'In all honesty. No.'

Asurprise pairing walked off with the Securities Institute Golf Challenge in deepest Surrey this week. Reinhard Winkler, chief executive of Rhine Securities and Mark Pignatelli, of Barings topped the leaderboard with a Stapleford score of 40 points. Last year's winner, the Albert E Sharp team led by Chris Moorsom, and the team from Gerrard Vivian Gray tied jointly for second place. Sponsor Credit Lyonnais Laing spared no expense with the prizes, handing out giant stuffed hedgehogs as prizes.

The victorious Mr Winkler was clearly operating on a tight schedule. He couldn't even stay for the award ceremony as he had to catch a plane to France.

Bentley's, the 75-year-old seafood restaurant and oyster bar, is alarmed about some of the prices attached to its new dining club. The club membership fee is pounds 25 a year and not the indigestion-causing pounds 225 as reported earlier. 'We may be upmarket but we're not that expensive,' says one oyster lover.

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