City & Corporate: The City deals with shock of bombs

At least last Thursday no one was crass enough to echo the notorious comment of Jo Moore, then press adviser to transport minister Stephen Byers, that 9/11 was a good day to bury bad news. But the terrorist outrage in London did have some interesting PR consequences - albeit they tended to be those where the news was good.

Those simply trying to promote the usual round of financial stories found it hard to drum up any interest, so the beneficiaries were organisations that don't normally figure. Leading the way in the financial sector was LCH Clearnet, unknown to most people outside the City and poorly appreciated by most people in it. It guarantees transactions - so if, say, someone bought shares and then wished they hadn't after the bombs hit and the market plunged, LCH would honour the purchase, regardless of whether the buyer could be made to stump up or not. Obviously at times of market stress LCH comes into its own, and although it was turfed out of its Aldgate offices last Thursday, all ran smoothly.

The other good-news story was how the Bank of England, the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority co-ordinated the response to the financial shock of the bombs. The story was that they were in touch and ready to act had it been necessary - though in the event, any financial uncertainty was shortlived. This again is very positive PR, though it leaves unsaid what they would have done had the markets tanked.

But some efforts struck a false note. One or two American houses, for example, sent out press releases on how their employees' safety was paramount and staff were being sent home. That may have been the right course of action, but they should have done it quietly. It was not the time to try and get mileage for being seen as a caring employer.

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