Deborah Ross: Your questions for bankers answered

If you ask me: Should the bank call me, can I ask them to input 1 and then 2 and then their account number and then 5 and then their sort code?
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, now that NatWest and RBS are effectively owned by us, the taxpayer, and have just reported further combined losses of £1.13bn, I think we ought to get on the case, although it's a tricky business. What is the etiquette when a bank is heavily in debt to its customers? There are certainly many questions such customers would like to see answered, as follows:

Q: As the bank is now in debt to me, can I send them a nasty letter a day for as long as I feel like it?

A: Absolutely.

Q: If I don't get a reply, can I send them two nasty letters a day for as long as I feel like it, while upping the charges minute by minute and hounding them by phone?

A: We'd encourage it.

Q: Should the bank call me, can I ask them to input 1 and then 2 and then their account number and then 5 and then their sort code and then the hash key and then put them on hold for hours before cutting them off and going boating?

A: Makes perfect sense, when you think about it.

Q: In the unlikely instance I get distracted and forget to cut them off before going boating, can I then ask them for a password they haven't a hope in hell of remembering?

A: Be our guest.

Q: Should the bank wish to visit me in person, can I insist they join a long snaking queue cordoned by a tired velvet rope?

A: Why wouldn't you?

Q: Once they have waited, can I then be all stand-offish and sneery with them?

A: Oh, surely.

Q: For their inconvenience, can I outsource myself to Mumbai?

A: Feel free.

Q: Can I impose substantial penalties should the bank withdraw money too late, too early, or after 2pm, when I'll be out boating anyhow?

A: Why are you waiting?

Q: Can I keep telling them their call is important to me, even though it's obvious I don't give a toss?

A: Naturally.

Q: Can I impose fees willy-nilly, and as often as my boating schedule allows?

A: We'd be disappointed if you didn't.

Q: Can I recklessly fool about with sub-prime mortgages and credit default swaps and put people out ofjobs and bring the world economy to its knees?

A: Oh, go on then. As it's your birthday...

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