I wonder if I am the only person in Britain this morning who finds the NatWest/Ulster Bank computer ‘glitch’ incredibly convenient for some – albeit not the customers?
This just happens to be one of the world’s rockiest banking groups (most of whose astronomical toxic obligations are being hidden from view in one of the nastiest cover-ups in history) and the ‘glitch’ just happens to involve the inner core of the toxicity, Ulster Bank.
There are other considerations to think about too. One former insider tells me that the previous Head of Retail, Brian Hartzer (who resigned last November but only left nine days ago) had made something of a nuisance of himself as an internal whistle-blower about RBS’s myriad Antics Road Shows. Equally interesting is that 50% of Hartzer’s job was looking after….Ulster Bank.
Anyway, he’s recruited his own successor and, as antipodeans so often do, has chosen one of his own – Ross McKewan, a Kiwi formerly high up in Commonwealth Bank. Aussies can tell you quite a bit about Commonwealth, not much of it nice. Commonwealth raised their lending rates in 2010 (about three seconds after the Government did so) but depositors have not as yet received any hints that this largesse might also be moving in their favour soon. Breath-holding is not recommended.
The action of Combank can be partly explained by its then boss, okker and good old boy Ralph Norris, pictured below:
Yes, you’re right – it’s the one-time Australian cultural attache, Les Patterson, hiding under an assumed name but unable to disguise his informally arranged teeth and stained tie. (To protect Ralph from further shame, I cropped out the tie.)
Last time I looked, Ralph was getting paid $16.2 million a year, and so what with his weekly pay cheque and shiny new rate increase, you can see why he’s grinning like a crocodile. But that smile cost the average Combank loan customer $88 a month…which is allmoss nyonybacksmite. Lovely people, bankers…and so consistent wherever you go.
Anyway, Ross McKewan (he sounds like an ageing folk singer, dunno why) didn’t get Ralph’s job, so he’s sold the house and is heading Blightywards for the biggest hospital pass in banking after Bank of America. I wonder if he’ll bother making the journey.
The most suspicious thing of all about this affair is that, when you look at the computer ‘problem’, it just happens to be one disabling the bank’s ability to give their customers any money. My oh my. It has desperation scam written all over it, but like all things bankerized, it seems unlikely we’ll get to the truth without a senior insider spilling the beans.
If that sounds like you, then the address to write to is firstname.lastname@example.org – in complete confidence.
But in the meantime, I’m sure that nice bonus foregoer Stephen Hester has a complete explanation for this most unfortunate affair. And in other news, the Bank of England this morning announced that its only cheque writer Sir Horace Dimplemouse died unexpectedly last night. A Treasury spokesperson told The Slog that it would take at least three years to recruit and train a replacement. A Mr Geoff Unborn of Downing Street was last night helping the Metropolitan Police get all his DNA off the body.