LONDON Reviled by the public and spurned in private, bankers have been looking for solace in adultery, according to a dating website for people seeking affairs.
IllicitEncounters.com said it has seen a huge increase in the number of financial workers signing up to have affairs after the collapse of the markets in October last year, and that "finance" continued to be one of the most represented professional areas on the site.
The website said in a statement that it has over 380,000 members across Britain of which more than 20,000 work in "financial services" and said it surveyed over 600 men and women bankers to compile a top 10 list of reasons why they embarked on extra-marital affairs.
The list shows that public revulsion for bankers combined with a lack of affection in private was the top reason for having an affair, followed closely by the excitement of doing something risky, escaping boredom, feeding the ego and one-upping the boys with a trophy mistress.
"We were surprised at the honesty of some responses," IllicitEncounters representative Sara Hartley said of the replies, which also showed that long work hours and commuting left many bankers with very little time at home for romance.
"The more time they spend away from home, the less time they have to rekindle that spark."
A common reply from male respondents had to do with boosting egos and giving in to the peer pressure of having a mistress for the sake of status.
"Where I work, many of the tops (sic) dogs are open about their affairs," the website quoted "member 23*56" as saying in its statement. "Having a mistress is like having a flash car."
A list of the top 10 reasons bankers gave for having affairs follows:
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
(Reporting by Paul Casciato)