World Cup fever spares no one, not even beleaguered investment banks kept afloat by taxpayers.
Royal Bank of Scotland will briefly put its financial woes aside to convert one of its London office atriums into a soccer field with screens. Staff and some 3,000 investment banking clients will be treated to viewings of selected matches from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
According to Businessweek, the bank sent an email to its staff announcing the plan and describing the stadium as having "a canopy covering the space, an indoor pitch and giant screens."
The part-nationalized bank, which recently announced its plans to cut 500 jobs at its U.K. wealth management unit defended the move, issuing a statement that the festivities were intended to help build rapport with its clients and that it was a cheaper alternative to taking clients to the World Cup in South Africa.
According to the bank's annual report, it has 51.5 billion pounds ($74 billion) of loans from the U.K. government's Credit Guarantee Scheme.