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If in doubt, reach for the accent

By Taipan
30 Jan 2014

The start of a new year is tough on loans bankers, who have to content themselves with looking enviously at all the business their bond colleagues rack up in January. This year has been no different, with one of my old banking cronies recently feeling the impact of a lack of action.

This senior banker — let’s call him Bill, for convenience's sake (regular readers will remember his golfing faux pas late last year) — recently had to update his colleagues at one of their regular meetings on everything he had been working on. Unfortunately he didn't have much to tell, and so had to focus on the one deal his bank had recently closed.

Piece of cake, or so Bill thought. But when faced with a room full of people, a dozen on video conference, and a few more dialling in, Bill felt the pressure. For the life of him he could not remember the name of the issuer.

He was just starting to get himself prepared to bungle his speech in front of his bosses when, in a moment of inspiration, he hit upon the perfect idea.

You see, Bill does not use the Received Pronunciation once favoured by the BBC. In fact, if he's minded to he can make his English sound completely incomprehensible just by laying on his normal accent a bit thicker than usual.

He duly ran through the background to the deal and, when the moment came to name the borrower, he simply quickened his speech and ramped up his accent. And sure enough, no one dared ask him to repeat what he had just said.

There's another long break coming up now, so he might have to try that trick again before too long. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

By Taipan
30 Jan 2014