Sporting donation came as Royal Bank of Scotland planned its staff Christmas fair A bat signed by Sachin Tendulkar, India's cricketing superstar, could not have come at a better time for a bank planning to hold a Christmas fair with a difference. Tendulkar supplied his bat a few weeks before the staff fair organised by Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the major donors for this year's Operation Santa Claus. The bank did away with its annual end-of-year party and instead joined forces with stakeholders to auction off items ranging from HK$10 Lego toys to hundreds of dollars worth of Christmas gift items at the fair held earlier this month at its Central offices in the Cheung Kong Center. Ronald Wong, head of marketing for the Asia-Pacific region, said: 'We worked with our suppliers and partners to hold a Christmas fair in the office to allow people to buy things from Christmas cookies to hobby items like T-shirts and sports clothes, and at the same time raise money for Operation Santa Claus. 'So it is not just raising money but giving something back in return.' Some 400 bank employees attended the day-long fair, forking out HK$160,000 for Operation Santa, including the HK$10,000 bid for Tendulkar's signed bat. Mr Wong said: 'The objective was to obviously recognise that it's been a tough year financially and that charities would also find it fairly tough to raise money.' One of the bank's fund-raising partners, Starbucks, brought coffee machines and staff to sell coffee. Mr Wong added that the fair provided the opportunity for a team-building exercise among the bank's employees and staff of ABN-Amro. RBS, one of the largest retail banks in Britain, recently acquired ABN-Amro. It was the first time the bank had organised a staff fair for the annual charity drive, which is now in its 21st year, and co-organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK. As well as the fair, this year as in the past, RBS sent one or two teams to the five-a-side soccer tournament, which has become something of an iconic event and that on December 14 raised HK$1.06 million. Mr Wong said RBS would organise a donor event next year, now that they had found the first one 'quite successful'. 'So what we are going to do is to make it a yearly thing. One of the things was to cook food, but because of fire hazards there were a lot of things we didn't have enough time to get through, like having a hot kitchen in the room. Next year we will build on [it].' He said the bank supported different charities throughout the year. Every Friday bank staff mentor migrant students, and on a recent Saturday hosted a Christmas lunch for them. Every Saturday, children with learning difficulties are also tutored by staff. 'RBS has a very strong tradition of supporting the community,' said Mr Wong, who has been working for the Edinburgh-based bank for the past 12 years. 'Last year we gave away or supported close to #60 million (HK$700 million) for charities globally.' Operation Santa Claus this year will aid 13 groups. Part of the funds will also go to the SCMP Homes for Hope project to help victims of the Sichuan earthquake rebuild their homes.