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London Strip Clubs Weathering the Financial Crisis

BRITAIN may be facing financial meltdown, but that is not stopping bankers splashing out.

While the rest of us tighten our belts, they are busy lavishing millions on champagne, fast cars, exotic holidays and lap-dancers.

City slickers were blamed by many for causing the economic misery in the first place, but they are certainly not feeling the pinch.

Despite Government promises to end the fat cat culture, bankers are still living it up in glitzy style.

And with Lloyds TSB yesterday promising that bonuses would continue to be paid, despite a huge bail-out from taxpayers, no wonder financial staff are still spending big.

Which means another trade is happily cashing in, too – lap-dancing. Super-rich money men are famed for shelling out thousands to see gorgeous girls peel off while knocking back expensive bottles of bubbly. And not even the credit crunch can curb their appetite for saucy fun.

Only last Thursday, one minted customer motored through a whopping £14,000 at a single strip club, spending £4,000 on booze and £10,000 on £20-a-time dances for himself and his pals.

But it is not just in London joints that bankers love to flash the cash.

Glenn Nicie is managing director of table-dancing chain For Your Eyes Only, which has branches in London, Newcastle, Cardiff, Bournemouth and Southampton.

He has been running strip clubs for 15 years and reckons business is booming, despite the slump. He says: “Last week was our busiest week of the year.

“We’ve got the bankers. We’ve seen our turnover going up and the spend on our dancers going even higher since the start of the financial crisis.

“The past four weeks have seen a 40% increase in sales and tonight we’ve got more than 100 girls working at our London branch alone.

“The clubs have exceeded all budgets and we’re doing extremely well.”

His business is not the only one that is booming on the back of the bankers. Limousine Strip, which provides limos packed with lap-dancers and champagne bars, has also seen bookings soar this year.

Last week, a group of metal traders bagged a fleet of its Hummer and stretch limos for a night of fun.

Insiders say the girls were making “mega tips” of thousands of pounds from the wealthy punters.

But cars full of girls weren’t enough for these guys, who were attending a dinner in London.

Strippers from the famous Stringfellows and Spearmint Rhino venues were also picking up the traders and whisking them back to their clubs for a private dance in a closed-off VIP area.

Kate Nicholls, secretary of the Lap Dancing Association, says: “These clubs are outperforming other traditional leisure venues at a time when competition is tough.”

Millionaire workers are also still forking out for all the latest luxuries to put in their massive homes. Swimming pools, gigantic plasma TV sets and all the latest gadgets are still popular purchases in stockbroker belts around the country.

Champagne and fine dining is at the top of the menu, too. The Mint Leaf Lounge restaurant, which sits in the heart of the City in London, has reported a brisk trade.

Cocktails cost up to £15 a time, but that hasn’t stopped the traders supping away.

General manager Gerard McCann says: “We still have our regulars and are seeing a lot of new faces to our restaurant, lounge and bars.”

But a few concessions have been made to these tough financial times. A new cocktail has been put on Mint Leaf’s menu. Called The Crunch, it offers four shots of alcohol for £5 – small change for bankers.

Meanwhile, dealers of supercars such as Ferraris and Porsches are also seeing an increase in sales, especially in the north of England.

And only last week, a new private jet company – called Jet Republic – was launched to cater to the travel needs of the very wealthy.

Bookajet, Europe’s leading executive jet operator, is also seeing no drop in sales as flash Harrys head off to exotic destinations to spend some quality time with their money.

Barbados, the Maldives, South America and even Greenland are expected to be among the most popular holiday spots next year.

And if you want to join the ranks of the bankers, marrying one could be the easiest way to cash in – and get a great holiday thrown in.

The average amount spent on a luxury honeymoon has shot up from £3,220 in 2007 to between £5,000 and £15,000 now. What credit crunch?

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