Leading Article: Don't bank on it

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The Independent Culture
JUDGE NOT, lest ye be judged. Old advice but none the worst for that, at least so the nabobs at the Britannia Building Society should be reflecting today. Someone there had the bright idea of sorting out all the building society's customers in terms of how much profit they yield the business, and then devising ways of treating them accordingly.

The result was that Nawab Khan, a newsagent in Blackburn, found himself named the society's worst customer, despite having pounds 1,700 on account with his local branch, where he has kept his money for 15 years. Was this because this solid citizen never overdraws his account, or avails himself of the other mortgage, insurance or pension services on offer to him? Or was it just, as the building society says today, a case of mistaken identity?

In either case, we wonder what the Britannia's customers make of being given such demeaning labels as "Malcolm Moderate", "Spencer Speculator" and "Sidney Shrewd". Without a doubt they could find some suitable names for the Nosey Parkers at their branch. We suspect that, if there were to be a poll held today of building society customers across the country, there would not be much competition for the title of Worst Building Society in Britain.

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