Getting your hands on the company credit card can be a rare sight these days, as new data has discovered that the UK workforce now spends half as much on client entertainment compared to the heyday of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Barclaycard’s corporate credit card, the company has explored how spending habits throughout the UK have evolved since the height of the ‘Mad Men’ era of business and why business expenses are a ‘distant memory’.
The firm found that 10 per cent would claim dinner at a restaurant with a client on their expenses, while back in the 1960s this was at 34 per cent and during the 1970s was 27 per cent.
Similarly, daytime schmoozing has declined with just 13 per cent of today’s workforce claiming expenses for lunch at a restaurant, compared to 36 per cent of those in the 1970s and 37 per cent in the 80s.
Workers are also less likely to meet for drinks with a client, with seven per cent claiming that they would cover the costs. 27 per cent of the population in the 80s said that they did the same.
“Business spending has changed dramatically since Barclaycard introduced the first corporate credit card back in 1968. This was a major moment in the development of UK companies and how they managed because suddenly an entire generation of workers gained more flexibility in their day-to-day working lives,” said Marc Pettican, MD of Barclaycard Commercial Payments.
“Fast forward 50 years and companies have become more complex and diverse, with very different needs. This is reflected in the range of expenses and the methods of claiming them that were popular then and now.”
Corporate travel costs also saw a peak in the 80s and 90s, with nearly half (48 per cent) of workers claiming for hotel accommodation in each decade. This is compared to a quarter (25 per cent) today.
Airfare was also more frequently purchased in the 1990s and 2000s, claimed by 19 per cent of workers and down to 12 per cent in 2018.