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December 01, 2021

Bankers having more affairs because of recession, report says

When it comes to relationships, the slumping economy is blamed for a lot.

Less time at home. Too much  time at home. More stress. Less sex.

But accusations of mass infidelity, to the best of my knowledge, hadn’t yet been made … until now.

British website – think Ashley Madison with worse teeth – is alleging the downturn has caused a major increase in bankers looking for extra-marital affairs.

According to a report in Reuters, the number of Illicit Encounters members working in financial services has jumped to more than 20,000 (out of about 380,000 total) since the collapse of the U.K. markets last autumn.

The site even surveyed about 600 men and women bankers to find a list of reasons why they’d resulted to adultery.

“The list shows that public revulsion for bankers combined with a lack of affection in private was the top reason for having an affair,” said Reuters, “followed closely by the excitement of doing something risky, escaping boredom, feeding the ego and one-upping the boys with a trophy mistress.”

Now, quotes like this don’t help the cause here: “Where I work, many of the tops (sic) dogs are open about their affairs,” one banker admitted. “Having a mistress is like having a flash car.”

But, look past the impossible-to-condone stuff about feeding egos and one-upping the boys and there seems to be a legitimate issue here.

Public revulsion, as it was put, is a major problem for people in the financial sector. As far as society is concerned, every suit-wearing, briefcase-holding banker is a crook to the highest degree these days. It’s your fault I’m out of a job, and it’s your fault we’re broke.

Is that true? Of course not. Yet is that much solace to a group fighting for its reputation every day at work? No, not likely.

Here's the full list of reasons bankers gave Illicit Encounters for having an affair:

1. To feel loved
2. For the thrill
3. Unstable home life
4. To escape the mundane
5. Ego boost
6. To avoid costly divorce
7. To lavish attention on someone
8. Because they feel entitled
9. Because they can/opportunity
10. Peer pressure

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...