Bank You Can Trust
It all happened so quickly.
At one moment I was simply
answering my doorbell, in the next I was tied-up
in my front room with a gun pointed at my
Who are you? I
implored. Why are you doing this?
One of my two balaclava-clad
assailants closed the front room curtains.
We may as well tell him the truth, he
said, glancing at his watch. Weve got
half an hour before were due to kill Mrs
The second gunman lowered
his weapon and looked me in the eyes. You
bank with our employer, AnyBank, dont you?
he said, almost apologetically.
Yes, I replied.
I wasnt too
good at maths at school, the second gunman
confessed, but they tell me the
statisticians at AnyBank Head Office have
developed a new mathematical theorem about bank
Whats that got
to do with me? I asked in a trembling voice.
calculated, he continued, that if
they randomly kill one in three customers, that
will optimise profits. He hesitated as if
searching for words. Im very sorry to
say that your account number is exactly divisible
But that cant
be true, I countered. The adverts on
TV portray AnyBank as the friendly, caring,
socially and ecologically aware bank that places
the wellbeing of its customers above that of the
testicles of its CEO.
That was a great
advert, enthused the first gunman, moving
from the windows and sitting down in an armchair.
You wouldnt believe that it was
thought-up by a serial killer at Broadmoor. He
won the Advertising Industry Advertisement of
the Year Award for it. Unfortunately,
the assassin sadly added, he couldnt
attend the award ceremony because his
psychiatrist said his psychopathy made him too
deranged to be released from his solitary, padded
cell. The first gunman paused. You
know, he just sits in his cell all day writing
all the most sincere and convincing adverts that
appear on TV.
Are you saying that
AnyBank is killing its customers to enhance
profits, I stuttered in terror and
amazement, returning to the purpose of their
I dont like it
any more than you do, admitted the second
gunman. Last week I had to shoot my
grandmother, but they told all of us counter
staff that if we werent prepared to
smile at customers by day and kill the
mindless, lucrative, cash cow bastards by
night wed all be unemployed. He
paused to reflect and then added, Ive
got the rest of my family to think of, you know.
He looked at his watch.
Im really sorry, he said as he
raised his gun and aimed at my head.
The mobile phone of the
first gunman beeped. He checked a text message.
Hold on, he said, its a
message from Head Office. Weve killed so
many customers that the Optimum Profit Formula
has led to a new optimum customer extinction rate.
He pressed a button on his phone to read the
remainder of the message. We now only need
to kill every alternate customer on our
Its your lucky
night, said the second gunman, holstering
his weapon. He reached into his pocket and
withdrew some leaflets. We have to visit
Mrs Dobson, now, he continued, but
you might like to look through these new
financial products being offered by AnyBank.
Someone from Sales will ring you in a day or two
to try to talk you into buying one.
Both men stood up and
walked towards the door.
said, as they departed, AnyBank is the
caring, listening bank that is interested only in
the needs of its customers . . . or you
may be seeing us again.