RBS GIVES BACK WITH BORIS BUSINESS DEAL

GOOD to see that RBS, 83 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is giving something back, after the bank donated £275,000 to Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s “Business Bootcamps”.

The scheme, launched last Friday, aims to help London’s fledgling entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground through a series of bootcamp-style workshops run by business experts, who will apparently share their “insider knowledge”.

No, not that kind of insider knowledge; the EU-backed project will focus on networking opportunities, access to key contacts and discounts on equipment.

“We’re helping more businesses get off the ground than any other bank,” Ian Cowie, chief executive of business and commercial banking at RBS, told The Capitalist.

RUSH-HOUR RACES
ON THE subject of the Mayor, word has reached The Capitalist of a new use for Boris bikes, after 15 City racers organised a rush-hour cycle race on the streets of Mayfair.

Spotted pedalling at full speed down Bond Street were corporate lawyer Paul Tetlow, Faroe Petroleum company secretary Julian Riddick and Simon Bragg, the founder of Oriel Securities and the race winner, who no doubt bought the first round when the group decamped to the nearest pub. After returning their Boris bikes within the half-hour free limit, of course.

BACKSEAT DRIVER
THERE was only one possible venue for the launch of Hub Capital Partners, known in the business as Hub Cap – a car showroom, namely the Jack Barclay dealership in Berkeley Square.

The party was hosted jointly by Richard Feigen, partner at Hub Capital, and Paul Campbell, the founder of leisure-focused fund Hill Capital Partners, and so many more people turned up than expected that the bar ran dry barely halfway through the evening, resulting in an emergency dash to Sainsbury’s to clear the shelves of stock.

The final tally at the bar –frequented by Simon Brickles, the former vice-chairman of Plus Markets Group; Sam Smith, the chief executive of FinnCap; and Simon Hayes, chief executive of Peel Hunt – was a well-oiled 272 bottles of wine and champagne.

Which may have had something to do with the rumours of one partygoer “disporting” himself with a female guest in the back of one of the showroom Bentleys…

MAN OF LETTERS
MEANWHILE, Tom Barnes, a trader at financial spread betting firm Spreadex, has been taking time out of the office to appear on Channel 4’s quiz show Countdown.

Barnes has won all three appearances on the show, but his colleagues’ admiration turned to mirth when he produced an eight-letter word with rather suggestive overtones.

The word in question is too risqué for us prudes at City A.M. – so let’s just say it may or may not have been inspired by afternoon TV beauty Rachel Riley standing next to the board in a short skirt.