Bankers Face Bans on Buying Clients Shots, Bottle Service

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Banks in London are expanding curbs on entertainment, with some adding bans on buying clients shots and expensing pricey bottle services for tables at nightclubs.

In addition to putting an end to buying clients shots of booze, one sent around a memo imposing a curfew on entertaining, according to GQ Employment Law. The London-based labor law specialist declined to identify the firm.

“Investment banks long ago banned employees from entertaining clients in strip clubs,” Paul Quain, a GQ Employment partner, said in today’s statement. “Now they are clamping down hard on boozy and rowdy client entertainment.”

The policies show how more general curbs on bankers’ behavior are becoming increasingly specific about what’s tolerated and what won’t be. Since last year, banks globally have been curbing presents, trading for personal accounts, and how employees talk to counterparts at other firms after being fined billions of dollars for manipulating benchmark interest rates and other scandals.

Barclays Plc banned staff this year from giving or receiving gifts and entertainment from brokers, and many firms have put an end to chat rooms open to outsiders. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. barred investment bankers from trading individual stocks and bonds, a person with knowledge of the matter said last month. UBS AG employees will have to use approved brokers for new investments as part of trading restrictions imposed beginning in the new year.

Other restrictions banks have imposed recently include midnight curfews for client entertainment -- though if it’s with junior staff, fun has to wrap up by 10 p.m. -- and bans on social media and dating colleagues, according to the law firm.

“It should have a positive impact on the bottom line,” Quain said. “A sober staff member is less likely to make an error of judgment, whether in conversation with a client on a night out or on the trading floor the next day.”

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