Peel Hunt had been Morgan Sindall's broker since the firm listed in 1994. But that counted for nothing when Morgan Sindall went for the much bigger HSBC, dropping Peel Hunt without notice just a week after a champagne reception attended by the brokers.
Morgan Sindall announced the change in a terse two-line statement that failed to mention Peel Hunt.
Finance director John Bishop said this week that the group switched to HSBC because it was bigger. "We've been with Peel Hunt since we started and it's done a great job. But as we've grown we felt that HSBC as a bigger bank would have a wider range of services to offer us."
The move also raised eyebrows because Morgan Sindall was not given the opportunity to rebid for the account – nor were others given the opportunity. As one City broker said: "It came as a bit of a shock because they've been together for so long."