How are you FXed for tonight?
Sarah: "I would just like to check some figures with you, if that’s ok?" <br><br> Allan: "Figures, I bet <i>you’ve</i> got a lovely figure"
February was the height of the polling season for Euromoney’s annual benchmark foreign exchange poll. FX heads anxiously await the results – or, more pertinently, their bosses’ reaction to them – as the thousands of votes roll in.
Such is the desire to do well in the poll that "incentives" are often offered by banks to key clients to complete the poll questionnaire. Of course, banks deny any such link: when else could one possibly invite your top FX accounts for a weekend’s skiing in the swishest resorts of Europe and the US? Or as one banker, tongue (we hope) firmly in cheek, put it: "I am sure they’ll be discussing the markets and enjoying the beauty and hospitality Scuol has to offer."
Of course, the vast majority of the groundwork of getting the voters in is carried out by Euromoney’s dedicated team of researchers. But some clients might be getting confused about the incentives that Euromoney can offer, judging by the following phone conversation between our researcher Sarah Minns and one London-based FX client, who (to protect his modesty) shall be known only as "Allan".
The call takes place the day after Valentine’s Day, and Allan asks Sarah about her Valentine’s night. Sarah, being a friendly sort, asks Allan about his – apparently he dropped a £69 bottle of wine on the floor when he stepped out of the car and then drank pink champagne and had a steak dinner (how romantic).
Sarah tries to stick to the script, being the true professional that she is.
Sarah: "I would just like to check some figures with you, if that’s ok?"
Allan: "Figures, I bet you’ve got a lovely figure"
Moving on swiftly, Sarah asks: "Please may I just ask if you were offered any incentives from any of the banks listed to sway your vote."
Allan: (a little too flirtatiously) "Are you offering me an incentive? I wouldn’t mind an incentive!"
Anybody prepared to offer "Allan" a calming trip to the slopes, please contact Euromoney editorial. But then again...