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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 13:11 GMT
Bankers 'sacked' over 44,000 meal
Chef Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay let the men eat for free
Five investment bankers who spent more than 44,000 on wine at a top London restaurant to celebrate a successful deal have left their posts.

The bill
1982 Montrachet - 1,400
1945 Petrus - 11,600
1946 Petrus - 9,400
1947 Petrus - 12,300.
1900 Chateau d'Yquem - 9,200
Water, champagne, fruit juice, 2 beers - 102
The Barclays Capital bankers' dinner, at top chef Gordon Ramsay's Petrus restaurant, hit the headlines in July and is believed to have angered some of the investment bank's customers.

The five men have left the company after being questioned by management at the bank. It is reported that the men have been sacked.

It is believed the meal was viewed as inappropriate at a time when the City was trying to present a more sober face following the end of the technology and telecoms share boom.

glass of wine
Liquid assets: Big wines cost big money
During the meal, it was reported at the time, the bankers bought a bottle of 1982 Montrachet, for 1,400, followed by three bottles of Chateau Petrus Pomerol - a 1945 vintage costing 11,600, a 1946 at 9,400 and a 1947 at 12,300.

Champagne, fruit juice, water and two beers cost a mere 102.

Impressed by the choice of wine, the restaurant - which has one Michelin star - let the men have their food for free, a 400 saving.

A sixth man at the dinner kept his job, as Barclays decided he could not be held responsible as he had only recently joined the company at the time.

A spokesman for Barclays Capital refused to comment on the matter to BBC News Online.


Meanwhile the bank's parent company, Barclays, is restructuring its workforce as it looks to improve efficiency by centralising its separate business divisions.

More than 1,800 office jobs have been cut, but the company's overall workforce grew by 2,400 over the last year.

The company said it intends to employ a further 2,000 people this year as Barclays Bank extends its opening hours.

Former Barclays' employee Justin Urquhart Stewart
"It is a matter of corporate reputation"
See also:

27 Nov 01 | England
Big spender buys record round
03 Dec 01 | Business
Barclays counts 89m cost of Enron
02 Aug 01 | Business
Profits up at Barclays
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