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VETERAN LAUDS BIG-HEARTED CITY FOR SHOWING SOME GIVE AND TAKE

AMONG the throng of eager banker-bashers busy giving the City what for at the moment, it’s good to see one of our own returning as good as he gets.

Veteran Brian Winterflood, chair of the market-making firm of the same name, has taken on a new role in the past few weeks as ambassador for the Square Mile’s newest financial charity project, the East London Bond.

The new bond – offered by social investment bond issuer Citylife – will donate 20 per cent of the capital received to rejuvenate the poorest boroughs around the City, while the remaining 80 per cent will be loaned at a commercial rate to registered social landlords, to use for affordable housing in East London.

After five years, the loans are paid back with interest to pay off the grant money, while investors will receive back their original capital – so everyone’s left smiling.

“It’s a great way to show that the City does indeed give as well as take,” says Winterflood.

“It’s all too easy to write us down all the time but there is an awful lot of money going to charities from the City, and I’m happy to act as an ambassador to support that…”

Hear, hear.

GOING GALACTIC
The Capitalist was intrigued at the weekend to receive an email singing the praises of Spandau Ballet, ostensibly soon to become the first band to perform in space aboard Sir Richard Branson’s new commercial spacecraft, the Virgin Enterprise.

“Spandau Ballet will have five minutes of weightlessness to perform one of their hits, which will include either ‘I’ll Fly For You’, ‘Gold’ or ‘True’,” shouts the email, which also claims to have the support of EMI chair Guy Hands for the venture.

Which is very bizarre, since Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn has no idea it’s happening, saying: “We have not been informed by Spandau Ballet that they wish to fly or do this performance in space.”

The first flights must really be in demand if music stars are resorting to such tactics, eh?

SWEET TOOTH
Do staff at law firm Linklaters do anything but eat? I only ask because, after a five-page tome from staffers appeared last week complaining about every earthly aspect of their new office canteen, a division at the firm is now taking nominations for an award for the best “cake submitter of the year”.

The coveted prize is for the generous co-worker who’s come up trumps at providing goodies for the team over the past year – with suggested judging criteria including the exotic nature of said sweetmeats or well-judged risk-taking in the confectionery selection procedure. Yum.