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Christmas spirit returning to Square Mile?


City workers are enjoying a resurgence as the economy continues to improve and financial services are placed at the centre of this recovery, a number of recent reports have suggested.

And according to a new report from the Financial Times, this has been reflected in their upcoming Christmas parties, which to some extent represent a return to the boom years following several austere festive seasons recently.

Party organisers and venue owners across the Square Mile are seeing a resurgence in the market for festive fun, the news provider claimed.

Teresa-Anne Dunleavy, chief executive of London's biggest party organiser Concerto Group, said: "There was a big lockdown post-crisis but it is definitely improving."

Many popular City venues such as the Honorable Artillery Company have seen their revenues increase over the last 12 months.

While we are unlikely to see a return to the conspicuous consumption of the 1980s, particularly in the current economic climate, it is clear firms are feeling more confident than they have for some time.

However, banks are still ensuring their celebrations are held behind closed doors and kept relatively low-key, given the timbre of the criticism still aimed at them by many newspapers.

One banker told the Financial Times: "Banks are still social pariahs: they're too scared to be seen to be having too much fun."

Will Beckett, co-founder of the high-end steak restaurant Hawksmoor, concluded that there has been a clear change in attitude among the City workers who patronise his venue.

"The average spend on wine per head is going up. People are going out a bit more on a company card. You get a sense that people are entertaining clients more, it's part of the city culture again," he explained.

While it does appear lessons have been learned from the boom years, this increased confidence does reflect the positivity exuded by Mark Carney and others when discussing the UK's economic future.

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