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SBD Global/June 28, 2012/Events and Attractions

RBS Clients May Still Fill Up Wimbledon Seats

The RBS may still fill the 528 seats it bought for Wimbledon even after the bailed-out bank cancelled all its corporate hospitality, according to Jill Treanor of the London GUARDIAN. RBS wants its "top staff to focus on the ongoing computer crisis that has affected up to 13 million customers." However, RBS "intends to allow the top clients" it had invited to watch the tennis tournament to take the tickets anyway, even though "the lavish hospitality suite will not be used and bankers will not be there to entertain them." RBS said it was cancelling the hospitality because of the "technical issues" that it acknowledged caused "considerable disruption to many of our retail and business customers, as well as customers of other banks" (GUARDIAN, 6/27). In a statement, the RBS said, "Under the circumstances, we felt it would be inappropriate to provide client hospitality at Wimbledon. Our people are focused on resuming normal service for our customers as soon as possible" (TELEGRAPH, 6/27). In London, Moore-Bridger & Bhatia noted around 300 clients "have been told they can no longer come to the All England Club after RBS CEO Stephen Hester ordered the corporate hospitality to stop.” Sources said that the decision “came ‘from the top’ after he realised the entertaining had carried on for two days despite customers still having difficulties accessing money.” The RBS corporate suite next to Court 1 Tuesday “was empty following the bank’s announcement” (EVENING STANDARD, 6/26).The SCOTSMAN wrote that RBS also has “cancelled plans for a prestigious corporate event” at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland that included a golf lesson with HOFer Jack Nicklaus. It remains unclear “whether the event with Nicklaus, who enjoyed a long-standing relationship with RBS, will be rescheduled” (SCOTSMAN, 6/27).
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