Spanish bank Santander has hired lawyers to investigate allegations that a group of its bankers knocked off after a hard day’s work in February and went to a strip club.
The investigation delved into the allegation that a group of junior employees were pressured into going to a strip club in London, after a day of meetings. According to The Financial Times, which first reported the news, Santander hired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a US law firm, for the investigation. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has also reportedly been notified.
The investigation was launched after news of the outing spread among the bank’s staff, and concerns were raised by an internal whistleblower. The investigation reportedly found explicit pressure had not been put on junior staff to attend the after-hours jaunt. It has nonetheless caused quite the stink.
A source told Reuters that the trip to the strip club happened after Santander’s global debt capital markets team held meetings at the lender’s UK headquarters. Seven male members (three senior managers and four juniors) of the team were the ones that allegedly visited the establishment The Nags Head.
“It’s symptomatic of an industry in transition from old standards to new,” one source told The Financial Times. “The company did not know how to handle it because these practices were common a decade ago but are now, rightly, frowned upon.”
According to The Financial Times, a Santander staff member said: “It’s such an open secret.”
“Everyone [throughout the bank] knows about it, but nothing is being said officially.”
A Santander spokesperson said the bank takes “all concerns about employee conduct extremely seriously” and follows a “rigorous process” to ensure the facts are established and “appropriate action is taken as necessary.”