How a red tie curries favour at Santander

The men in red ties appeared to have taken over the Ladies’ Smoking Room at the St Pancras Renaissance hotel the other evening as Santander UK hosted its very pleasant summer drinks party.

All the Santander men present wore red ties, although a spokesman yesterday said there had been no order to do so. The red seemed to be a male thing because Santander’s female representatives did not all seem to be wearing that colour, although UK CEO Ana Botin was dressed in a rather elegant pink number. “Each of the men wore a red tie out of personal choice,” said a spokesman, who spent a large part of the evening assuring all the guests that Santander UK was very assuredly ring-fenced from its Spanish parent. The red tie is a favourite of fans of Emilio Botin (not present last night) because it evokes the bank’s branding colours. But it also could be viewed as an evocation of the Spanish heritage of the parent bank, possibly not so helpful due to nervousness over the Spanish banking system. So will Santander UK revert to Santander’s original green, which it abandoned in 1989. “No comment,” said the spokesman in Spain.

Before The Capitalist left just after 21.00 hours (as the invitation stated, “You’re Free to go after 9pm,”) we noticed that the Channel Four news presenter Jon Snow, unlike the Santander employees, had opted for one of his more multi-coloured numbers.