Cost-Cutters Slash Office Perks

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Office perks like meals sent to one's desk and taxis home are becoming another casualty of the credit crunch.

Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs recently pulled the plug on reimbursing several types of routine and not-so-routine expenses claimed by employees, the UK's Daily Mail reports. The paper cites a global memo from Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, ordered by Chief Executive Josef Ackermann and first reported in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, and a memo from Goldman Sachs to its employees.

The Deutsche memo restricts company-paid taxicab use, saying public transport should be the norm within London. It also clamps down on first-class train travel and expensive early-morning hotel check-ins during international travel, and caps paid lunches at 52 per person ($102.48 at Thursday's exchange rate) unless prior permission is obtained. Finally, Deutsche declared there will be no reimbursement for "adult entertainment."

The Deutsche memo "is growing evidence of the effect the crunch is having on banking finances and a new wave of puritanism spreading around the globe," the Mail says.

Goldman Sachs issued a similar edict in March, according to the Mail. The firm reportedly ruled out paying for taxicab commutes before 10 p.m. and said the only office meals reimbursed would be those ordered from the bank's cafeteria, where the maximum amount is 10 ($19.71 at Thursday's exchange rate).

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