Bank of America chief happy to be butt of jokes

They’re back. The banker jokes were flowing as freely as the champagne at the Banker awards where some of the City’s brightest investment bankers gathered to pat themselves on the back and collect awards.

BBC broadcaster Michael Buerk, who in another age was famous for his reports from a starving Ethiopia, hosted the evening and didn’t feel the need to hold back from making jokes at the expense of his well-heeled audience, which largely took them in their stride.

There were 29 awards, enough for most of the banks to win at least one of them.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch won the biggest award of the evening, crowning a period during which it has climbed back from a rocky period of turbulence in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis and the enforced merger between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

A happy Christian Meissner, formerly of Lehman but now head honcho of investment banking, gratefully accepted the award, adding he didn’t mind jokes at all if it meant the industry was coming back to health.