Major job cuts in the London banking sector has resulted in struggling unemployed British bankers moving to Poland for work, leading to tension in the Polish population that local jobs are being stolen.
Initially the bankers were welcomed to a flourishing Poland, whose young workforce had little idea how to manage their newly acquired wealth. ‘The bankers’ arrival seemed a good thing at first,’ said Warsaw-based architect Koziol Chlopiec, ‘after all those years of communist rule we could build you a new city, no problem, but nobody had a clue how to construct a decent pension fund. We tried DIY finance, but then needed to get the professionals in, and our young people these days just don’t have the banking skills.’
However the influx of brokers has now reached crisis levels, with reports of groups of bankers congregating outside the local stock exchange trying to pick up a day’s work, and some particularly desperate city workers resorting to ‘short-selling themselves’ in the hedges outside the toilets of local parks. The cultural impact is also causing anger among traditional Polish communities; some pages of the local newspaper are now printed in pink to target the immigrant community, while local convenience shops are stocking shelves full of ‘strange, non-pickled muck’ and ‘tacky foreign brands like Fortnum & Mason’.
The migrating workers themselves are also becoming disillusioned as their numbers swell and conditions get harder. ‘It’s tough being out here – you miss your home and kids,’ admitted Sebastian Ingrey, a former Lehman Brothers analyst. ‘Though to be honest, I was never actually home very much, so I never really saw the wife and kids. But I miss my mistress, and my Ferrari…’