"Nepotism is rife in the bank where I work. And it comes from the top"

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I work in a UK office of a top European bank. I'm not in London, which possibly allows hiring practices to slip beneath the radar. 

Since I've been here, I've seen hires made into the KYC and technology teams which seem to be based upon the new recruits' relationship with one of the highest ranking members of staff in this office. We have reported these actions via anonymous channels to the bank, but it seems that the individuals concerned are able to act with impunity. 

One position in KYC was offered to the individual's son. Another position in technology was offered to a close friend of the family.

What's particularly galling is that while these people seem to be achieving jobs through their connections, the bank has been cutting staff in the same area. For example, one individual working in the technology department had their contract cancelled to make way for the new hire. That individual wasn't given an opportunity to apply for the position, even though they'd been working more than adequately in the role. The position was then awarded to the external candidate who just happened to know the senior employee - on the back of her recommendation. 

There's now a running joke here that the rest of the family and friends will be hired too. The person doing the hiring is part of the equality board and is championing 'equality for all,' which seems hypocritical. 

How normal is this? It's unfair that we should fear for our jobs while these people are able to walk into roles with their eyes closed. I've always been told that if you work hard, give it your all, your dreams and ambitions will come true. This was a lie, you can do anything with the right connections. Without them, you have your wings clipped before take off. 

Karam Patil is a pseudonym 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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