Banished bankers clean up at their beautiful launderette


By Kirsty Topping

Alan, left, and Michael turned to doing their dirty laundry in public after losing their jobs

THE banking crisis burst their bubble but two former high fliers from the world of finance have bounced back by opening a launderette.

Michael Scobie and Alan Pollock both lost their jobs due to the credit crunch but the pair have lost no time getting back on their feet.

And since taking over Suds

“R’ Us, the pair have actually managed to increase the business.

Alan, 37, who used to be a fund accountant with JP Morgan and Michael, 44, a former communications executive with HBOS, spend their days pressing suits and washing students’ unmentionables, as well as managing orders from hundreds of businesses ands residents.

However both say they are happy to have left the world of finance for the wash house.

Alan, who also worked for Citigroup before turning his back on finance for good, said:

“I was laid off a few years ago by JP Morgan, then I went to work for Citigroup and managed to get a permanent job, but when the chance came up to work with Michael I just went for it.

“The best thing is you can make decisions and they actually happen.

“At the two banks I worked for everything was filtered through so many committees and often you didn’t even find out what had happened to the projects you worked in.

Both men worked in the finance sector before taking over the laundrette

“But with the launderette you’re dealing with normal people every day and with the decisions you make happen, you live or die by the consequences.

“We both prefer it to finance, absolutely. I think we’d find it really difficult to go back its so refreshing to be working in a non-corporate environment.

“There was a learning curve at first, but it was more of a manual one that anything and that was a refreshing change. “

Both men had been talking about leaving the finance world for a few years but neither imagined things would work out like they have.

“I always thought we would be doing something. We’ve spent loads of time sitting in pubs trying to come up with business ideas, but if you asked me if I’d ever be running the local launderette I’d have said probably not,’ he added.

Michael said:

“I was made redundant from HBOS and took it as an opportunity to do something else.

“I found the launderette for sale and decided o go for it. Alan and I have been mates for years and we decided to go into business. The launderette has been here for 40 years and we took over in October. Since then it’s been going really well and I cant imagine going back. “

The pair have been helped with the learning curve by the laundrette’s 80-year-old employee, Jimmy Peters.

In turn, they helped Jimmy out with his own credit crunch problem – losing a 500 payment for his first PC when a local computer firm went under last month.

The pair, plus the other employees, pooled money from the tip jar to get Jimmy online.

Michael said:

“We get quite a few tips, some people put in 1 and some put 20 in, so we decided we’d give up our Christmas night out and get Jimmy on the internet.

“He’s been talking about getting online for months so the least we could do is help him out. “

Jimmy added:

“I’m really grateful to Alan and Michael. I’ve been wanting to join the silver surfers for years and now I can do anything.

“The only thing is you press the wrong button and everything goes haywire. Just typical. “