While the government flounders around in search of any “green shoots” of a recovery, some in the City were getting down to business in a more practical manner. Standard Chartered’s head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa Richard Holmes yesterday led a gaggle of bankers over to Roehampton for a volunteering day, one of three per year the bank pays its staff to take. The team spent the day working on a new garden for the Thomas Pocklington Trust, which helps people live with blindness, a fitting cause for a bank that has raised $44m for Seeing is Believing, a charity that fights curable conditions that cause sight loss. The Capitalist caught up with Holmes just after he’d been rotated from the “digging weeds” shift into the “sawing railroad sleepers” unit. So which is his favourite? “Hmm… sawing,” said Holmes. “The sawing is gratifying when you finally saw through a sleeper – because we don’t have a chainsaw here.” Whoever says bankers don’t work for their bread?