Saturday, 15 January 2011

Bank teller narrowly escapes death

A brutal and savage murder was narrowly avoided this morning in my local town centre, thanks to a quick thinking member of the public who intervened. Step forward Mrs XTM and take a bow for managing to avert slaughter in my bank.

Allow me to explain, I’ve been meaning to go into my local branch since receiving a scrap of paper explaining that my Individual Savings Account (ISA) had matured. I thought I’d better pop in to find out if the account had been rolled over for another year. The letter was deliberately hazy and poorly worded. It probably should have said something like this instead:

"Dear Sucker

Your ISA has matured. It's now earning virtually zero per cent interest and we're currently loaning it to some hapless sod at an extortionate rate of interest. If you wish to renew your ISA and place it on a derisory rate of interest for another year, then please call in at your local branch on any Wednesday afternoon between the hours of 3.15 and 3.30pm when one of our surly and uninterested customer service harridans will attend to you. Please bring two forms of photographic ID, a DNA swab and one of your first born's kidneys.

Yours faithfully

A Swindler
Branch Manager"

I approached the customer service assistant who was slumped at the front desk looking like a bored bunny. She had all the presence and dynamism of a tranquilised sloth.

“I’d like to talk to you about my ISA,” I told her. She looked at me as though I’d just asked her to unblock the u-bend of an elephant’s toilet.

“Got any ID,” she growled.

I passed her my bankcard and politely inquired if she could tell me how much interest the account was paying. I used to be able to look up this information online but the sneaky bastards have removed it as part of their new Smoke & Mirrors Customer Charter.

“You’re getting 0.1%,” she told me, with the merest hint of a smirk on her deeply unattractive countenance.

“That’s outrageous,” I replied. “Why do you automatically have to drop the interest rate from 2.6% to nothing? How would you feel if I did that with my mortgage? What if I made you come to me every year and renegotiate the interest rate you charge me? Would you lend me that money for just 0.1%? It’s sneaky, underhand and unprincipled.”

The woman sighed before gleefully telling me that all the banks are the same.

“So, you’re all sneaky, underhanded and unprincipled. That makes me feel a lot better. You’re nothing but a cartel,” I said. She responded with the uncomprehending, bovine stare of a cow with learning difficulties. “I’ve a good mind to move my account,” I snapped. She looked at me with a withering mixture of pity and insolence.

“It will take a long time to transfer your account to another bank,” she spitefully hissed.

By this time I was incandescent with rage… as incandescent as a scotch bonnet chilli or a jalapeno pepper. I wanted to lean over the counter and throttle this deeply unpleasant individual with the highly misleading word 'service' on her name badge.

She looked at me as if to say: 'you’re screwed and there’s jack you can do about it.'

The fact that the government now owns my bank just made things worse. Not content with ramping up charges and slashing services, these unprincipled bonus-awarding vermin are now raiding my savings to keep their own inflated lifestyles afloat.

It was at this point that Mrs XTM managed to bundle me out of the bank saying: “Leave her! She’s not worth it!”

An hour and a half later and my blood pressure is slowly returning to normal as I sit here concocting evermore beautiful and exquisite ways of wreaking revenge on the bank from hell.


  1. Don't get me going on banks or I'll pop a blood vessel. Will no government act to set proper restrictions on their activities? Despair sets in after the anger.

  2. Well the answer is simple to me. Go back to the bank and have a re-run with the same teller. Only instead of threatening to move your account to another equally bad bank just state that you would like to withdraw the whole amount, Now. Then take the money, stick it in a box under the bed and add a fiver every Friday.

    You win, every which way, you stiff the bank and piss off the teller. You have complete control over your money and by adding a fiver a week will you will add more to the pot than any bank would. Your blood pressure will be low, your wife will be calm and if you suddenly need access to a couple of grand you won't have to go grovelling to your bank to seek permission to access your own money.

    What's not to like.

    It's just an idea, like.

  3. An ISA is a strange thing. It's supposed to be free of tax on the interest you earn. Why should we pay tax on the money we've already been taxed on just to try to keep the value of our money while the government inflates away its debt? I did try to take the money out but the silly bint said my money would no longer be tax free so that all the years I've been saving my annual allowance to shelter the few quid I've put by would be wasted. She said I'd have to come back and make an appointment to see an advisor before they would give me my money back. These people are just crazy.

  4. Our banks have government regulations, but the dudes (no dudette CEOs of major banks in Canada that I know of) still make a killing from our money every year. Geesh sometimes their millions of dollars profits are a few million less than the year before so they stiff us with more service charges so they can renovate their swanky offices or homes.
    I had a big beef while my adult kids were in Australia, can't quite remember what they were screwing us with but the biggest beef I have is that I can't put money into my husband's or kid's accounts without his consent or the actual account number...because get this, if they deposit the $$$ (because they can look it up) they are telling me that the person (my family member) has an account there and the person(s) may want that to be hidden! I tell them that we, as a couple, actually TRUST each other. But because there are couples that do not trust each other and want to keep secrets I have to have a note or the account number. Not a biggie but it's the trust issue that gets me. I tell the teller that those aren't marriages then. I can understand if I want to TAKE money OUT, but to deposit it I still need to have the information. A strange sad world we live in.

    If only I had trust in myself to leave the money in the (fire/theft proof) box under the bed.

  5. If you give me your ISA money, I'll buy a bunch of drugs with it and sell them on your behalf - I'll take 30% of the gross profits, and give you the remaining 70%, which will be slightly less than tripling your money in the space of about a fortnight, assuming that I'd be dealing at the level of the maximum ISA allowance.
    "Simples!", as unimaginative tossers love to parrot.

  6. Thank you, Oscar. Very thoughtful.

  7. Morning ETM and bloggers!

    Just reading comments - it almost seems crazy that Oscar's plan is illegal whilst the banks can act in any fashion they so choose and it is legal ............. ho hum.

    Best, Cats' Mother

  8. You do have to find another ISA provider to keep the tax free status though Mark, preferably with a better interest rate, then the new provider transfers it for you from your current one.

    They be the rules ;o)


  9. Hardly seems worth it for the interest rates on offer. ISAs are always lower than taxable savings accounts. It's as if the banks help themselves to the tax-free portion of your interest. Think a mattress account would be better :-)