Column Eight: Barclays sniffy over protests

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The Independent Online
Barclays, which like all other banks has long lived with the threat of armed robberies, has been coping with a new form of attack on its branches - a nationwide stink-bomb campaign waged by a disgruntled account-holder.

Brian Jones, who took offence when the bank allegedly approached a colleague to check his credit-worthiness without telling him first, has now been barred by High Court injunction from entering any Barclays branch.

Matters seem to have reached an impasse.

'I think their methods stink so I've decided to let them know how I feel,' says Mr Jones, adding that all he wants is an apology.

'It is difficult to talk with Mr Jones whilst he insists on dropping stink bombs in our branches,' Barclays replies.

Inquiries about the repair of the embarrassingly dry-docked QE2 are being answered by one Eric Flounders. (Not Founders. That would have been even worse). Mr Flounders is now on holiday, no doubt exhausted by the barrage of puns from every caller.

More names and destinies - this time an associate director in Baring Brothers' sterling bond department, whose career path was mapped in heaven: Peter Lovibond.

Is this the acceptable face of debt-collection? Intrum Justitia, Europe's biggest debt-collection company, is sponsoring (to the tune of pounds 3m) a yacht competing in the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World race. It hopes to increase public awareness of the company and give it a friendlier face.

Over the past 12 months, Intrum Justitia's men with polite feet in the door have been asked to collect pounds 1.2bn in unpaid debts, an increase of 33 per cent on last year's figures.

'Fair Pay . . . Please]' implores the slogan adorning the yacht's sails.

Spotted in a shop in York: Victorian television cabinet for sale: pounds 40.