In the video that infuriated the unions shot last March, sent to the commercial network and uploaded to the group’s intranet, the commercial director of Banca Mps, Pasquale Marchese, is standing in front of a desk cluttered with paper and documents, with an important painting behind him, a list what good has been done up to then and what is not good. This goes “well”, this other “male”, “Really good” to the workers of the branches they have had “360 degree results”, but there are “Too many zeroes on too many products”, e “The real task of a salesperson is to eliminate zeroes from every product”.
According to Marchese, to do it, and we have to run why “The first quarter of the year is about to close, which is essential for a listed company”, we must go “Go on like this on private mortgages and net assets”, Push “On personal loans, this is the moment”, but also accelerate “On business mortgages, especially those with guarantees”, and it also serves “A decisive action on the non-life and pension part”.
The commercial director of Montepaschi, a graduate in civil engineering and former CEO of Postel spa (Gruppo Poste Italiane) and commercial director of Mediocredito Centrale, then proceeds to conclude the video, after having also filled the speech with some quotes from the grand master Yoda from “Star Wars”, listing some mutual commitments, which consist among other things in the request to sell more net asset management products and loans to individuals and more guaranteed loans to businesses.
The video was the focus of a very harsh communiqué from the trade unions, which have recently become increasingly busy to stem the commercial pressures that come from all the banks. “The recent corporate video of the cco – the workers’ organizations Fabi, First-Cisl, Fisac, Uilca and Unisin write in a joint note, without explicitly mentioning Marquis but referring to his role as chief commercial officer – on the ‘results of February 2021’ is characterized by a communication that, at least in official terms, we thought outdated. Furthermore – the trade unions continue – the long list of commercial realities that have achieved the objectives (including ‘good’) and those that have not (‘bad’) is:
- criticizable, because it is inconsistent with the corporate commitments regarding commercial policies;
- useless, because the sales network is already continuously pressed by requests from local managers,
- detached from reality, because it is exclusively focused on budget objectives, not considering the serious weight caused by the pandemic event, which affects not only the normal operation of the network, but also the commercial proposal activity itself.
‘We are not there’, this is not how the fundamental purpose of transmitting the necessary motivations to workers is achieved to face a difficult everyday life and not without considerable uncertainties for the future ” the unions write, before concluding that “Within the trade policy committee, this will certainly also be a topic for the attention of upcoming meetings”. Trade union sources also point out the high remuneration received by Marchese, in 2020 equal to about 350 thousand euros in terms of income tax, compared to the total 296 thousand euros received by the chief executive officer and general manager Guido Bastianini (also considering the non-monetary benefits), who arrived in Siena however from the month of May.
In a new joint note at the end of March, the trade unions then made it known that they had received one “Opening letter of the procedure regarding the simplification of the organizational structure of the MPS general management”, led as mentioned by Bastianini. The letter announces the project of the current CEO of streamline the structure that currently provides for a whole series of managerial roles under the CEO, including the one held by Marchese, with the aim of creating a single system that reports directly to the CEO. “We have repeatedly highlighted – underline the trade unions – the obvious contradiction in which the company sets itself by starting a path of this value in the absence of a clear picture of the future of the bank and its organization, all elements contained in the 2021/2025 strategic plan – to date not confirmed by European regulators – within which this reorganization is located. We therefore consider it absolutely worrying that the company has unilaterally decided to start an organizational revolution of this size and impact on workers without having clarity on the future scenario and without having reference points on the final outcome of the repercussions from a professional and territorial point of view on the colleagues concerned “.
In the meantime, on 6 April, the shareholders’ meeting of Mps, a bank in which the Treasury holds 64%, approved the financial statements at 31 December 2020, closed with a loss of 1.88 billion, and resolved to reject the two liability actions promoted by the shareholder Bluebell Partners against some former directors and against the board of directors in office with percentages in both cases equal to 97.505 per cent.
The day after the assembly, April 7, they arrived the reasons for the sentence with which last October the Milan court had condemned in the first instance the former top management of Montepaschi, Alessandro Profumo and Fabrizio Viola, for rigging and false corporate communications in relation to the bank’s first half-year report of 2015 and the accounting of the two derivatives Alexandria and Santorini. Among other things, the sentence was defined “Congruous” for the “Seriousness of the charges (stubbornly repeated) and the marked ability to commit crime “ of the accused. Profumo and Viola defended themselves by letting it be known, among other things, that the accounting of the two derivatives was “In continuity with the previous accounting methods and in agreement with the supervisory and control authorities”.
The meeting of MPS on 6 April also the capital strengthening measures required and already identified at 2.5 billion have been postponed to a next meeting. The hypothesis is an alternative to that, on which the Sienese bank is also working, of a merger within another group. If the integration fails (and at the moment there is no official name), the capital increase of 2.5 billion would be triggered, for which the Tuscan institute has made it known that the Treasury is committed to join for their share, that is to say for an outlay of approximately 1.6 billion.