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Don’t tell mum I work for a bank … she thinks I’m a pianoplayer in a whorehouse!

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I was going to start this week with a serious blog post, but the ABN AMRO kickoff meeting for 2014 has caught everyone’s attention.  In fact, it’s made everyone note it so much that I’m going to dedicate today’s blog entry to it.

Why did it grab the attention of all?

Because the Chairman of the Bank, Gerrit Zalm, dressed up as a brothel owner to talk about the similarities between a whorehouse and a bank.


Gerrit’s character is Priscilla, his fictitious sister, who runs a successful brothel in Amsterdam.   “Priscilla” claims that her brother had denied her existence due to “jealousy” because he was a mere bank employee while she was a “successful entrepreneur”.

Looking like a sister of Dame Edna Everage, Gerrit claimed parallels can be drawn between prostitution and banking.  Banks can learn a lot from “the best practices in my company” as “my industry has been putting the customer first for centuries while banks have only the discovered this recently”.

Although amusing, it’s amazingly insightful as I have blogged here regularly to debate the fact that banking originated at the same time as prostitution, and that money and sex is what makes the world go around:

Anyways, that’s not what this blog entry is all about.

It’s about the fact that the Sunday Times could not resist using Gerrit Zalm’s coup de grace as a call for the UK bank Chairmen to follow his lead.

Wishing for Douglas Desiree Flint (HSBC), David Davina Walker (Barclays), Win Winona Bischoff (Lloyds) and Philip Philomena Hampton (RBS), the Times used the opportunity to create a great mock-up of these four panto babes.


Finally, if you understand Dutch, here is the complete performance of Priscilla …

Nothing like a joke to start the year is there?

Or is this serious?

After all, the title of my new book was going to be: Don’t tell mum I work for a bank … she thinks I’m a pianoplayer in a whorehouse!




This is a fairly common saying but, as Steven points out in a comment below, the first published version is in a book by Paul Carter entitled: Don't tell mum I work on the rigs (she thinks I'm a pianoplayer in a whorehouse)

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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