I understand that Your Bank is on the lookout for a new CEO, so I thought I would just drop you a line to let you know that I am available and willing to take on the challenges that post would provide for me. I know that we have not met, but I thought we should start off on first name terms as it will show you that I have thoroughly researched the ethos of Your Bank, including taking note of the manner in which Your Bank executives conduct meetings with senior politicians, which was very impressive I have to say.
Let me start by making a simple statement that will, I believe, provide most of the evidence you will need to realise why I am the best man to succeed my predecessor in that job: I love Your Bank. I love Your Bank because of the people. History will judge Your Bank as an incredible institution because of its people, and the best way for me to help with that is to be in a position to step-down whenever required. But I can’t do that unless I am one of those people.
Now, I am aware that there have been a few problems at Your Bank in recent years. But these occurred because of the actions of a handful of bad people. What they did was wrong and their behaviour was wrong, those bad people. People who do bad things are wrong, so wrong, and bad, bad people doing bad, bad things are wrong, and abhorrent. I simply cannot tell you how abhorrent to me those bad, bad people were in doing what they did, which was so very wrong, so very very wrong, and reprehensible. I have to tell you that I felt physically sick when I heard about how abhorrent and so very, very, very wrong it was, what those reprehensible and bad, bad, bad, bad people did. But that’s in the past now, so let’s move on.
I fully understand the values of Your Bank. I know that some who have left your employ recently were not as aware as they, perhaps, should have been, but I have no intention of falling-into that simple trap. In fact, I looked the values up on your website before I sat down to write this, and when I didn’t find them, well, I just sat there Googling until I did – I am a dedicated man, Marcus, and I want you to know that it took me an entire thirty seconds before I eventually found them. Of course, you already know what they are, so I won’t patronise you by repeating them, but I have to say that article was a fascinating read and it told me so much I wouldn’t have known by simply visiting your website. Like Your Bank being founded by Quackers – isn’t Wikipedia wonderful, so accurate and well-researched.
But what you really need to know is what I can bring to Your Bank. Well, simple really – experience. Experience and value for money. In fact, experience, value for money and not a lot of diligence. Let’s deal with that last point first shall we? I really do not wish to look too closely at what is going on beneath me; in fact, I think that it is not a good trait for CEOs to become too interested in what happens within their organisations. After all, it was looking too closely that caused all those recent problems, wasn’t it? I think my time would be much better utilised in looking the other way, rather than at another way. Just looking the other way altogether – say, out of the window. Then, once I do hear about anything that’s wrong, done by a handful of bad, bad, bad, bad people, I can genuinely express my abhorrence at how reprehensible they are, and then be physically sick – out of that very same window.
Of course, the most important thing you need to know is my experience. Well Marcus, it is both extensive and relevant. I have been a customer of Your Bank for sixteen years, and I have to say that it has been sixteen years of just tremendous enjoyment. From the retail banking point of view, I have bought Payment Protection Insurance, a brilliant product for concentrating the mind by increasing those loan repayments to a barely-affordable level. Without that experience, I would never have learned how to budget for the unexpected, which came in very useful when my tracker mortgage rate went through the roof. That was when I got to know much more about Libor, and how it had replaced base rate – guess I always thought they were the same thing. Then there are pensions. I did a lot of work unravelling the fallout from all those Global Funds my Grannie bought from that friendly and helpful Your Bank salesman. But he was not representative of the firm I love so much, or of the way they treat their customers and clients, or the way they deal with problems.
But probably my main expertise is in small and medium businesses. In fact my last business had a loan that was secured by one of those interest-rate-swap thingies, from which I gained first-hand experience of what Libor rate-fixing can do, and how to deal with when a bank calls-in a loan. Up until then I thought a hedge was what you trim in the garden; I spend a lot of time in the garden nowadays. But I look on the bright-side – if it hadn’t been for that, I would not have been available to take this job with you. Destiny is a funny thing, isn’t it?
Finally value for money – what am I looking for in the way of remuneration? Well Marcus, let me assure you that I will bring a whole new dimension to the touchy subject of executive pay. I don’t want some crazy package, where I get a few million a year plus hugely embarrassing annual bonuses based upon performance that just ain’t there. Or shares awarded to me that I need to wait years before they can be cashed-in, followed by all that wrangling involving lawyers when I need to spend more time with my family. No, I think the best way that we can show each other that we understand what all this is about, as well as to demonstrate to all those whining media hacks that we have found a new approach to this thorny subject, is for you to pay me ten-mil in advance.
That’s it – just cash up front, paid straight into my offshore bank, via my Your Bank Tax-Avoidance Scheme account, will be just fine. No more payments needed, just a simple, tax-deductable line on the P&L in one financial year, no liabilities on the balance sheet, and no tax for me to pay. Then I can simply stay at home until you decide to phone me to tell me it’s all over. Look upon it as garden leave in-lieu – after all, what better way to not see what is going on in the office than not being there in the first place.
And in case you’re worried, Marcus, that waiving share options might be a bad move on my part, please don’t. By the time you send me that inevitable Dear John letter, they will be worthless anyway.
M T M Jobsworth