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Credit Crunch hits SIBOS Lunch

Now I know we live in difficult times and just about everything is on the rise but lunch at SIBOS is taking pricing to a new level. With virtually no choice of food on the exhibition floor my colleague and I decided to take advantage of the buffet restaurant on the upper floor. Having trekked all morning around the huge exhibition floor we were eager to take refuge for a short while and replenish our weary bodies with some decent Austrian fare. Wow, did we get a shock, when met by a very helpful waiter who with our welfare in mind stated that we should not enter as the minimum price was 72 Euros per head! He went on to say that the same food, supplied by the same catering company, at the same venue, was usually priced at 10-12 Euros and advised us that we could have a good meal in a 5* restaurant for less than 72 euro's a head. Needless to say we did not bother to stay and eat!

Unfortunately once again as in previous years it seems that the local industry inflated its prices, seeking to score rich pickings from what they assume are affluent bankers, who don't care as they charge everything to their company expense accounts and seem unaware that long gone are the days when companies will foot the bill whatever the cost.

They should also consider the other attendees, the media, research companies and software vendors, surely in influx of 8000 people brings in sufficient revenue without the need to charge exorbitant prices.

On the plus side however, the "free" drinks and snacks offered to delegates in the exhibition area mid morning and afternoon were far better than most available to purchase and were a godsend to those of us who had not had time or registered for the inclusive SIBOS lunch.

Given the current economic crisis one wonders if in future SWIFT could champion this cause and use its purchasing power to ensure fairer and more cost effective prices for all attendees.

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