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World’s Worst Banker

June 14, 2015

BIG bonuses

Hertford College, Oxford awarded its chemistry “open” scholarship in my year to the privately educated son of Oxford University’s “Dr. Lee’s” professor of physical chemistry.

Although neither of my parents was educated beyond the age of 14, and although I achieved A-levels in maths, physics and chemistry, all at grade A, at at time grade A was awarded less frequently than now, I was offered only a place. For most of my time at Hertford, there was just me and the professor’s son. Not having a scholarship, I had to find private accommodation after the first year (of a four year course). Not surprisingly I had a difficult time at Oxford.

Some years later a senior manager at TSB Bank (Mr B.B.), told me I couldn’t be promoted to senior programmer, commenting “you had trouble at university, didn’t you?” Abbey National (now part of Santander bank) broke my contract of employment in order to demote me. Although they reinstated me after I complained to the staff association, they subsequently accused me of vexatious use of the grievance procedure, and then sacked me.

Abbey National sacked me from my £22k p.a. job shortly before appointing fellow but less time-served Oxford graduate Stephen Hester as finance director. I think he was scraping by on half a million at the time.

Stephen Hester is, coincidentally, a Russell Group university chemistry professor’s son.

Thanks to Hertford College and the Tanner Scheme, I worked in banking for 20 years. I could have earned as much as a bus driver, if I’d put the hours in.

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