August 20, 2013

Credit: Flickr

A 21-year-old German student interning for Bank of America's London office was found dead on Tuesday morning after reportedly working for 72 hours straight. Moritz Erhardt apparently suffered from epilepsy and collapsed in the shower of his student housing, after, according to posts from colleagues on an Internet forum, working until 6 a.m. three days in a row. An anonymous banker attested to The Independent that "interns can regularly clock up to 100 or even 110 hours a week," and another spoke of the "Magic Circle," in which interns go home at 7 a.m. to shower and change before returning to the office. Head of communications for Bank of America and Merill Lynch said the company is "deeply shocked and saddened by the news" and cautioned against speculation.

The Independent:

"One former investment banker confirmed that interns could regularly work 14 hours days.

The banker, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Independent: “Interns can regularly clock up to 100 or even 110 hours a week, but people are fully aware that banking is hard work and the company constantly reminds you to manage upwards in order to not overheat. This is the first time I’ve heard of something like this happening and banking is a very close culture.”

Banking interns at BAML are paid around £45,000 pro rata, or £2,700 a month.

One 20-year-old told the Evening Standard in 2011 that "you work whatever hours you’re asked to".

He added: "Every intern’s worst nightmare is what’s called 'the Magic Roundabout' – which is when you get a taxi to drive you home at 7am and then it waits for you while you shower and change and then takes you back to the office."'

Erhardt was an exchange student from Germany studying at the University of Michigan and was interning at the Bank of America in London when he died, just seven days before he was scheduled to complete his summer internship.

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