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This bank is no more

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This bank is no more
I dedicate today’s blog to all those people who remember Monty Python’s Parrot sketch with affection. 

The scene begins with a customer entering a bank. 

Customer: “I wish to make a complaint.”

Teller: “We're closing for lunch.” 

Customer: “Never mind that, I wish to complain about this account what I opened not half an hour ago.” 

Teller: “Oh yes, the Icelandic Blue Internet Account. What seems to be wrong with it?”

Customer: “I'll tell you what's wrong with it.  It’s gone missing, that's what's wrong with it!  It no longer exists.”

Teller: “No, no, it’s uh ... it’s just waiting for a username.” 

Customer: “Look, I know a dead bank account when I see one, and I opened this one just now and it’s no good.” 

Teller: “No, no, no, sir. You don’t get it, do you?  You see, it’s not dead, it’s just waiting for a username.  Remarkable account though, the Icelandic Blue, isn’t it?  Lovely graphics, aren’t they? And the interest rate is remarkable, don’t you think?”

Customer: “Look, the interest rate doesn't come into it, lad. The fact is that this bank is stone dead. There is no interest. It doesn’t work.  Don’t you get it?”

Teller: “No, no, no, no, no, no! It’s just waiting for a username!” 

Customer: “All right then, if it’s waiting for a username, I’ll enter one.” 

Grabbing keyboard next to teller’s workstation, the customer starts banging the keyboard against his head shouting: “BJORK, BJORK, BJORK, BJORK, BJORK, BJORK, BBBBJJJJJOOOOORRRRKKKKKKKK!!”

Teller grabs the keyboard back off the customer and enters ‘Bjork’

Teller: “There you go, see. That worked.” 

Customer: “No, it didn't, that’s just you showing me your teller’s screen!” 

Teller: “Nope. That is your account.” 

Customer: “No, it isn’t!” 

Teller: “Oh yes it is.” 

Customer: “If that’s my account, how come it says ‘Jones’ and ‘Teller 4134’ in the top right hand corner?”


Teller: “Isn’t your name Jones?”

Customer: “No, it’s Smith.”

Teller: “Ah, you should have entered that as your username then.”

Customer grabs the keyboard and starts yelling and hitting the screen repeatedly

Customer: “HELLO BJORK, BJORK, BJORK, BJORK, BJORK, BJORK!!!!! This is your nine o'clock alarm call! Where’s my money?”

Customer unplugs teller’s computer screen and throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor. Screen explodes.

Customer: “Now that's what I call one dead bank.” 

Teller: “No, no, no. It’s just re-booting.” 

Customer: “RE-BOOTING?!?” 

Teller: “Yes. You locked yourself out with all that keyboard banging. It’s frozen. All it needs is a reboot and it’ll be just fine. A bit sensitive is the Icelandic Blue. Locks up easily.”

Customer: “Now look, mate, I've had enough of this. That bank is definitely deceased, from when I opened my account just half an hour ago. Now, you assured me that its total lack of access was due to it being a busy day on YouTube, and that it would be fine within a few minutes.”

Teller: “Well, it’s... it’s, ah... probably locked out due to all those geysers.” 

Customer: “Locked out due to all those GEYSERS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?” 

Teller: “The Icelandic Blue’s internet site can slow down a lot when spray gets on it from all those geysers that blow water everywhere up there. Remarkable internet site though, isn’t it? Lovely buttons and graphics!” 

Customer: “Look, I took the liberty of examining that internet site in depth when I got home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been working at all in the last day or two is because the Icelandic Government put it there.”


Teller: “Well, of course the Government put it there! If they hadn’t put it there, then all the customers would have tried to get their money out and the whole darned country would have disappeared. VOOM!”

Customer: "VOOM?!? Mate, this bank wouldn't ‘voom’ if you put four billion Euros through it! It’s bleeding demised!” 

Teller: “No, no! It’s just locked out!” 

Customer: “It’s not locked out! It has passed on. This bank is no more. It has ceased to be. It has expired and gone to meet its maker. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If the Icelandic Government hadn't put it there, it would be pushing up the daisies. Its interactive processes are now history and it’s off the system. It has kicked the web, shuffled off its XML, run down the curtain and joined the hyperlinks in the sky. This bank is no more. IT IS A FORMER-BANK!” 


Teller: “Well, I'd better replace it, then.”

Teller takes a quick peek behind the counter.

Teller: “Sorry guv’nor, I've had a look around the back of the branch, and uh, we're right out of banks.” 

Customer: “I see.”

Teller: “I’ve got a post office account if you want?” 


Customer: “Does it pay any interest?” 

Teller: “Not really.” 

Customer: “Well, it's hardly a replacement, is it?” 

Teller: “N-no, I guess not.” 


Teller: “I do know one place that may be good to put your money."

Customer: “Yeah?”

Teller: “Have you got a mattress?”

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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