Bank industry woes sink strip clubs

Layoffs and pay cuts at financial institutions bring tough times for dancers in London, and strippers in the US may also see slower business soon.

By Jason Notte Feb 15, 2013 9:41AM
Credit: ZUMA Wire Service/AlamyDuring peaks and valleys in the economic cycle, well-paid banker bros are always comfortable investing in one particular commodity: silicone.

Until they lose their own jobs, that is, then strip-club pocket money suddenly has to go somewhere other than the nearest garter. This has been the problem of late for free-spending London bankers who suddenly find themselves cash-strapped after a spate of layoffs and cutbacks. Their Lower Manhattan colleagues who frequent establishments like New York Dolls and Scores may be stripped of their lap-dance allowance disposable singles soon enough.

On Tuesday, Britain's Barclays (BCS) bank announced that it would cut 3,700 jobs globally in 2013 as part of a strategic overhaul, with 420 jobs in its U.K. technology and infrastructure division to go as well as 275 jobs in New York at the old Lehman Brothers building. Meanwhile, British bank RBS (RBS) is cutting a further 3,500 jobs in the U.K. and elsewhere while Dutch banking and insurance group ING is cutting 7,500 jobs.

Add that to the 13,500 jobs Swiss bank UBS (UBS) has cut since the financial crisis began in 2007 and roughly 160,000 jobs have been lost from the banking sector worldwide, according to Reuters. Those fortunate enough to keep their jobs have seen banks cut back pay and bonuses, institute claw-back policies for the bonuses they do pay out and paying those bonuses in shares and deferred payments rather than cash.

With instant gratification becoming a distant memory for most bankers thanks to risky trading and the Libor interest rate fixing scandal, London's strip clubs have become a bellwether for conspicuous consumption. News from the front of the stage is already grim.

"They tell me inside on the floor that business is going down,the customers are spending less money, there's a smaller amount of people coming in now," a source at a central London strip club told CNBC.

When the strip clubs are in trouble, bad times for everyone else aren't far behind. Restaurants like 1 Lombard Street, across from the Bank of England, offers three-course meals for $100 per person but has seen dinner business drop in the last year as bankers trade the a la carte menu for the specials list. The members-only Brompton Club in London's tony South Kensington neighborhood has seen its more affluent clientele leave for Geneva and elsewhere and its party bookings dwindle. London's booming property investment market has watched bankers slip from 50% of the buyer base five years about to just 30% today.

Will any of this affect bankers and business in America? It's still a bit early to tell, but converting that $20 in your wallet to singles and going to a strip club in the nearest financial district is certainly one way to find out.

More on moneyNOW

Feb 15, 2013 11:39AM
nice to have an idea of a useful leading indicator of trouble (strip club attendance).  i guess i should study this more? 
Feb 15, 2013 1:12PM

What goes around, comes around. Ain't Karma a bitch, bankers?


Feb 15, 2013 12:47PM
Steve, I think it's called "Road Trip".....I'll join you in your studies and investigations to help you validate the results.
Feb 15, 2013 3:02PM
nice to see the bankers funding strippers with our stolen money,,mofuks!
Feb 15, 2013 1:40PM
Feb 15, 2013 2:40PM
Well i'm sure the strippers will use their heads to try and make ends meet !  Whoa,  that's a tough one !
Feb 15, 2013 2:30PM
there is bull market; there is bear market; now we have a new market trend--chick market, everybody just rans around like chicken with their heads cut off .
Feb 15, 2013 2:42PM
It is nice to see those who ripped us off and avoided jail to have some hell in their lives.  I love to read and see bankers, financial planners, etc suffering.  I wuld like to see some jail time for more of these thieves.  Yes, karma is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Feb 15, 2013 3:59PM

Middle aged/old men buying their fantasies.

On the plus side, I guess, is the fact that some of these women may see that depending on some other person to provide for them is a risky proposition. And, because of that, take steps to get a more "secure job" with real benefits.

Course, the top end women are still clocking 1G a night. That's $5 grand a week - CASH.

Heck, cutting that in half is stil $2,500 per week. TImes 50 weeks, cause even a girl has to get a little vacation time, that's $125,000.

Wow, that's definitely in the top 10% percentile. And for just showing some skin and making old men happy for 4 minutes of dancing on their laps.

Feb 15, 2013 2:53PM
I always thought investment bankers were lowlifes. 
Feb 15, 2013 12:31PM

Well the deadbeats using their EBT cards are a fall back position for strippers in the USA...


Thanks Obama.

Feb 15, 2013 12:22PM

I`d like to buy a strip club, but my limo business is fully booked and I hardly

can take a day off or go on a vacation/

Feb 15, 2013 4:36PM
This is what pases for "business news" on MSN. LOL.
Feb 18, 2013 6:21PM
It really is a sordid business.  I feel sorry for the strippers who have to deal with people who make their money in such a sordid business.
Feb 15, 2013 4:14PM
this is not the first time I have seen this correlation. I remember a wise uncle made this comment in the '70s. again it came up in an article in some publication in the '90s. if the strip club business is bad so is the economy. each time this was brought up it seemed like 3 years of bad luck. take your money and run.
Feb 18, 2013 3:25PM
I used to think strippers where low life's until I met one. She paid for college by pole dancing. She is now an ICU nurse. She was one of the nicest girls I ever met. I felt bad that I labeled her.
Feb 15, 2013 5:00PM
This is what I call the trickle down theory.  Lose job, can't spend or contribute to the economy, so your downward spiral caused by joblessness trickles down to being unable to spend on what you used to spend on.  I think govts view the trickle down theory a lot differently than I do.
Feb 15, 2013 6:23PM
I'll start a 'Boobies for Banker's Fund'  the poor bankers are treated like wankers now.  
Feb 15, 2013 5:12PM
OK, so we have a new "index" to guage our financial prosperity....
Feb 15, 2013 2:57PM

Great article MSN. Of course everything wrong today is the bankers fault. All of those guys who worked and paid their way through undergrad and grad school and worked tons of hours to move up the "ladder"  should not be allowed to spend their money as they wish. 


For the full "hater" effect, you really need to follow this up with a story about all of those poor people at the corner bar who leveraged themselves to the hilt buying homes in an overpriced market that came with variable rate mortgage payments they couldn't make.

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