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“Hello” exclusive! Chris Skinner visits a bank branch

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I grew up with Mills & Boon, where old ladies wrote sexy stories about men on horses who would rip off the bodice of a young woman and deliver his sword. These days it seems to be Hello! that fills this vacuum, with Princess Kate flying on an economy flight and described as such:

Who writes this stuff?

We talk about equality and #metoo, and I am amazed that people can write this way. Nevertheless, it inspired me to think about how I would write such stories in a financial world and so, here it is. If you want more, let me know!

Chris Skinner visits a bank branch!

He walked into the bank branch, which was unusual. No one walked into a bank branch anymore. Why would you? You can do everything on your app?

But no, he walked into the bank branch to see what it was like these days. It was fine. There were people there. Some people – mainly women – working in servicing the customers – mainly old people.

He joined the queue and then wondered why there was a queue. No one went to a bank branch anymore. Why would there be a queue? He then realised the queue was for two reasons. One, a small business person was depositing £10,000 in one pence coins; two, a person who looked like a meeting with God was due very soon, was chatting about their cheque that had not appeared on their account.

He looked to see if there was anyone else in the branch who could help. A nice young man, who appeared to be about 12, was standing, looking enthusiastic. He was wearing a suit and tie, and had a jacket with a badge that said ‘Ben, he/maybe’.

He walked over.

“Excuse me, do you work here?” he asked.

“Yes sir. How can I help”, replied the eager young man.

“Well, I’m thinking about a loan”, said he (why would you go to a bank branch to get a loan?).

“Oh!” said the youngster, looking nervous.

There was then a few seconds of pause, whilst the wheels in the youth went round and round ... like a bus.

“I will need to get the manager then”, said the young man.

He wondered what the young man was doing there.

“What do you do here?” he asked.

The young man explained. “I am the concierge, sir!”

“The concierge?”

“Yes”, said the youth, “I’m here to help. I’ll get the manager”, he continued.

He sat down. He looked back at the two tellers who were working. The small business guy seemed to have achieved an amazing £5,102.11 pence deposited, whilst the pensioner was breathing heavily, and appeared to be about to expire.

He played with his phone and transferred $15,000 in crypto from one account to another, along with £2,000 from his account to his Polish friend. He did a round of golf on the Golf Rival app, and called his mate to discuss last night’s Spurs game.

Just as he was about to give up, the manager came out. She was gorgeous. Her long (dyed) blonde hair fell over her shoulders in waves, and she had matched this with a beautiful bank-issued black briefcase. He was instantly in love.

“Good morning”, she said. Her eyes giving away the fact that she was instantly attracted to him. “You are interested in a loan, I believe?”

He salivated without realising. A drip of saliva fell from his mouth onto her case. He felt bad.

“I’m so sorry”, he said. “I wasn’t thinking”.

“It’s ok”, she replied. “I needed your identity verification details anyway.”

He had been identified!

“Walk this way”, she said, and starting to move into a back office meeting space that he hadn’t noticed before. He knew something great was going to happen.

As he walked, he heard the business owner counting – “£5,103.52, £5103.53, £5,103.54” – whilst the pensioner had decided to sit on the floor and then lie down, breathing like Darth Vader with a bad cold. He hoped she didn’t cheque out.

The manager welcomed him into the room, her hair flicking wildly.

“How much do you want?” she asked him. He was tempted to say enough for you, but restrained himself. “I need around ten grand”, he replied, thinking that it would be just the right amount to go to Vegas and have a good time ... maybe with her.

Click, click, click. She worked the keyboard. Her eyes flicked rapidly between the keyboard, the screen, his eyes and his trousers. He did the same, and realised his trousers looked pretty good. Sparks were happening and he wondered if she was interested? Her smell came to him. It was Canal #5. Mmmmm.

“We can do that for you sir but first, would you come over here?” she was pointing at him to walk over. He walked over. They kissed. It had a little passion, but more from him than from her, and then she turned to him and said, “do you really think that I, as a bank manager of this prestigious branch would be interested in a low-life like you, who needs a loan?”

The floor opened. It was a secret trap door! He fell through and heard the grinding movement of wheels and machines.

A few hours later, the shop next door to the bank had a delivery of newly cooked Pork Pies. The small business manager who owned the shop had just deposited thousands of pounds in 1p coins in the bank next door. The man smiled as he smelt the pie. A woman walked past with blonde hair, and raised a thumb as she walked past his store. In the background, an ambulance raced away with an old person inside, who apparently had passed out at the bank branch.

As the ambulance went past, it slowed down. The pensioner had also passed apparently. As the blonde woman walked past, she pointed to what she was carrying and smiled. It was a black briefcase and, inside, was a lot of cash. About £10,000 worth if I’m not mistaken. Now, where did she get that from?

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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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