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Opened Letter to LGIM

Publié le 27/03/2014

Talking about the tyranny of the global finance became nowadays a trite and it is a real commonplace to assert that financial institutions are responsible for the predicament of the world economy, ready to go over the cliff into an abyss that we wouldn’t even try to consider. Over the last several decades, neoliberal policies have created debt and global impoverishment on a massive scale.


There are now four years that countries around the world are living suspended on the financial markets erratic movements. Four years since the world leaders are sitting at the bedside of the sick financial hydra trying to find solutions to its excesses which lead the world economy into recession. Four years since the governments of this world take all the actions that the financial cartel requires in order to allegedly get better, but it does not get better, on the opposite, it get worth and worth.


These are all well known facts and nobody could deny today the responsibility that financial institutions have in the 2008 collapse and its aftershock on the world’s debt crisis. While at no point comparable with the drama of families having lost houses and other major living resources, I would like to report one of my recent own experiences with your institution, one of the most emblematic financial institutions in London.


The story starts in September 2013 when, whilst working for IBM in Dublin, Ireland, I’m being contacted by a British agency named Exceed Business Intelligence, to be proposed a role at your offices in London. The offer was quite attractive from several points of view, especially the fact that commuting from Paris to London, by Eurostar, is much easier and more accessible then flying from Charles de Gaulle to Dublin. Your hire procedure was very heavy as it required full traceability and recommendations for the at least the last 5 years of career, which is really very uncommon as, the most exigent companies like IBM requires traceability for only the last two years. But once I provided my references to you, for the requested period, and after having passed the technical exam, you’ve proposed me a 6 months extensible contract as a Senior SOA Architect in your IT department.


My work in your offices started the 1st of October 2013 and, from the beginning, I was very interested by the projects that I was in charge of. I was working hardly and not counting my working hours such that, shortly after the contract starting date, I’ve received your management satisfaction testimonies. The work load was quite significant and, as I was told very often, the 6 month duration of my contract was only due to administrative purposes. However, your management was aware that 6 months were absolutely not enough to obtain the results I was expected to achieve, therefore my contract was allegedly going to be extended for a total duration of at least 2 years.


Living 2 years or more at a hotel in London is really painful, hence I decided to settle down myself and to rent a long stay apartment. But before taking any important commitment, I validated with your management that my contract was secure. Given that signing a letting contract, as well as utility ones for water, electricity, gas, telephone, television, council tax, etc., requires a longer visibility that a few months, I checked with my line manager at LGIM, Mark Breen, as well as with Simeon Arthur and Stuart Campbell, your determination to use my services for a longer term. Your answer was absolutely clear: you were very happy concerning the quality of my work and you were keen to extend my contract as much as possible. These encouraged me to settle myself down and to take all the required commitments such that to achieve a decent residence in London.


This happened in the begging of December 2013. But one and half month later, about the mid of January 2014, I’ve been announced by Mark Breen that my contract, which end date was the 31st of March 2014, was not going to be extended, allegedly for budget reasons. As Mark Breen and Simeon Arthur, together with Stuart Campbell, have explained to me, your IT budget would allegedly has been dramatically reduced for 2014, which is what was supposed to motivate your decision. I was trying to make my mind with this shocking news when I discovered that the reality was even much worse that I thought. Not only my contract at LGIM was not going to be extended, but it was going to be terminated by you one month earlier then the contractual end date. As a matter of fact, the contract provisioned a clause according to which you could terminate the contract at any moment, without giving any explanation, provided that a 30 days notice was given. I have been very reluctant against this clause from the beginning and I asked it to be removed from the contract. But you, on the behalf of the agency Exceed Business Intelligence, explained that this clause was absolutely formal, it allegedly hasn’t been ever applied, and then I accepted.


I tried to understand the reason of such decision. The first idea the one might have in this situation is that you were not happy concerning the quality of my services. But your IT management not only insured me that you appreciated very much the way I conducted my projects, but additionally you didn’t hesitate to give me written recommendations.  I was on the point of trying to accept the rationale of this earlier contract termination as being related to a budget problem, as unbelievable as this might be, when I’ve been contacted by different other British agencies that proposed to me the same role in your company. Obviously, what was going on was that you were looking to replace me. The funny thing was that, not only the proposed contract was 6 months extensible and this didn’t seem to present any budget problem, but additionally, you were looking to pay more expansive then you were paying me.


Once again, I tried to understand the reason of that and I have asked your management what was going on, but I was unable to receive any pertinent explanation. Accordingly, I left your company one month later and, after this date, I’ve been contacted several times by different other agencies for the same role, for more and more money. As far as I know, three weeks after my departure, you didn’t manage yet to find anyone to replace me.


So, in order to resume, after having made me dismiss from a very reliable contract with IBM in Dublin, after having given me all the guaranties about your determination concerning a long term contract, after having made me take several over-commitments, you fired me without any explanation, even worst, while praising my work, and you’re currently looking for another consultant to replace me. Doing that, you accept the money waste involved by the replacement of a consultant without an organized hand-over and you are ready to pay a higher daily rate for another consultant that, at least in the beginning, would have less autonomy as I use to have on my own projects.


This story shows, once again and in relative terms compared with more dramatic situations, at what point you, as any financial institution, are manipulating people by making them come and go from different countries, and how irresponsible you are when it comes to fire them. In my case, I found myself with several months of rent to pay for an apartment in which I’m not living any more as I left London to come back to Paris. And with one year of British Telecom subscription, besides other utility bills.


Of course, one could argue that everything is my fault, that I should have been more realistic and lucid and not believe the promises made to me by you and by your agency. From a legal point of view, there is nothing which could be reproached to you. You got a clause in your contract allowing you to terminate it whenever you wanted and, despite all the inadvertent guaranties you’ve given to me, you didn’t hesitate to apply it. This is typically how bureaucracy is functioning and, from a bureaucratic point of view, you are champions.


But the fact is that, and this is also the morale of the story, beyond your legal responsibility, you as a big financial company, directly influencing destinies of thousands of people you hire, and indirectly influencing destinies of other millions of people suffering about your decisions, have also a very important moral responsibility. But you don’t assume this moral responsibility, as this simple story clearly shows and, consequently, you are an immoral institution. And this immorality, based on which you simply don’t care about the effects that your irresponsible decisions might have in the people life, is one of the most perverse facets of the global financial tyranny, of which you are one of the exponents.


In this respect, your behaviour relates, in my opinion, on financial slavery.


“Every day matters” is one of your preferred “motto” fiercely displayed almost everywhere in your offices. I’m not sure at all that, in deed, every day matters for you, but I can tell for sure that  the human beings don’t matter at all at LGIM. And this story is the clear illustration.


In conclusion, my question to you is: "What is wrong with you people down there ? You guys, you suck !".

Envoyer à un ami

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Par gfgrahamnz le 09/02/2015
excellent letter and it sums up the rottenness of banks and I worked for a few on contract
also however I told the biggest investment bank what to do with them self's when I got sick from working 14hr days.. There reputation is in the toilet and they don't care which boggels the mind

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