Abigail Hofman: Bankers on trial during Euromoney awards
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Abigail Hofman: Bankers on trial during Euromoney awards

Bankers were in subdued mood when they gathered in early July for Euromoney’s 2012 Awards for excellence dinner. Bob Diamond’s abrupt resignation a few days’ earlier was on everyone’s mind. And anxiety about the Libor rigging investigations cast a pall on proceedings. "It feels as if the industry itself is on trial," one guest murmured. Another 50-something senior banker was more vehement: "I don’t think this blood-letting will stop until my whole generation has been forced to step down."

Banco Santander was named bank of the year and Deutsche Bank won the award for best investment bank. Peter Sands, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank, was Euromoney’s banker of 2012. He accepted the award by video and made a soothing speech about the need for banks to return to their proper role in society as facilitators of borrowing and lending.

I was delighted to see Fawzi Kyriakos-Saad, Credit Suisse’s EMEA chief executive, at the dinner. Fawzi is bright and refreshingly open about the tribulations facing the industry.

I was also impressed by Colin Fan, the recently appointed, youthful co-head of Deutsche’s investment bank. Colin is clever, approachable and thinks in a way that most wage slaves don’t.

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