The days of the three-hour, five-bottle City lunch appear to be well and truly over after Lloyd’s of London introduced a booze ban.
The insurance market has told its 800 employees that they are not allowed to drink alcohol between 09:00 and 17:00.
Lloyd’s said it had been considering the move for some time to bring it into line with “industry norms”.
The ban applies to Lloyd’s staff, not brokers and underwriters doing business in the historic insurance market.
But angry staff have called the new measures “heavy-handed”.
Workers took to Lloyd’s intranet to air their grievances, with one asking: “Will we be asked to go to bed earlier soon?”
According to the London Evening Standard, another asked: “Did I just wake up from my drunken induced slumber to find we are now living in Orwell’s 1984?”
The boozy lunch had long been a staple of City life when deals were done and contacts made.
A spokesman for Lloyd’s said: “There is no denying that it has traditionally been part and parcel of this type of business.”
In an internal memo to staff, Lloyd’s said an examination of grievance and disciplinary cases over the last two years found that about half were related to alcohol.
A Lloyd’s spokesman said that the market had changed and that Lloyd’s wanted to attract younger people to the industry.
He added that Lloyd’s wanted to bring its employee guide into line with other companies, such as QBE, which advises staff not to drink as opposed to an outright ban.
He said that if someone was found to have broken the rule, their manager will decide on the best course of action to take.