I’m considering a bank heist.
Nothing too big. Don’t want things going moody on me and being put away for a long stretch. Just something small and tasty. An easy job.
And technically it ain’t robbery at all ‘cos it’s my effing money.
Let me explain. I have an account with the NS&I. Nothing too big. Nothing that requires an off-shore tax haven. I’ve barely used the damn thing. In fact, there’s so little in there I’m quite happy to share the amount with you. £159.94p. Most of that has come from collecting 1p, 2p and 5p coins in a jar and occasionally paying them in. It’s kind of been a rainy day fund but there’s never been enough in there to mop up a puddle let alone a rainy day.
After Christmas, having dipped into my overdraft yet again I decided I needed to consolidate my modest estate instead of having bits of tin floating about all over the place. Why not just put all my gelt into one place, I thought to myself. Let’s close the NS&I account and pay the balance into my bank account. It’ll get me out of the red and do some use for once. Finally there was a puddle it could mop up.
Do you think I can get my measly £159.94p out of the NS&I?
Apparently, I can’t just withdraw it over the counter. It’s not that kind of account. I have to keep £100 in there at all times. If I want to withdraw it all I need to close the account.
Fine. I’ll close the account. Hence I was given a load of forms to fill in and send off.
I fill them in and send them off. I wait 2 weeks. The form is returned to me. A note has been pencilled on it. “No bank book enclosed”. They want my bank book sent with the form. Fine. Except I don’t have one. I’ve moved house a couple of times since I opened the account and the bank book could be anywhere though is most likely propping up a flyover by now if you get my meaning. Brown bread, right? I ring them up. Explain this. Fine, they say. Just write “bank book lost” on the form. I do so and send it off again.
I wait 2 weeks. I then have more forms sent back to me in the post complete with my original form. Apparently the bank account details I supplied don’t match the ones they have on record for me. Can I fill in another form detailing the (to them) new bank account details? I duly do so. I send NS&I the same bank details that were on the original form except now they are written on the “change of bank details” form. I send all the forms off again.
4 weeks later I am still waiting. I check my bank account online. £159.94 has not been paid in. By this time I have hauled myself out of the red under my own steam but that is not the point. I want my money. I check my NS&I account online. I have no account it says. Great, I think. They’ve closed my account but have lost my money.
I ring them up. I explain all of this to the nice man on the phone. He checks. Oh, he says. We didn’t receive the change of bank details form. I’ll send another one out to you in the post. There is a bloodstain on the wall from where I’ve been banging my head.
So you see, I’ve tried all the legal routes. All the kosher and the straight routes. And they ain’t working for me.
So there is no alternative. I need a shooter. Nothing fancy. No automatic gubbins – as the Krays will tell you, they tend to jam. A nice Webley will do fine. And I need a driver. Someone who can hold their nerve and wait for the signal. Someone who’ll wait for me to vault the counter John Dillinger style and grab what I’m owed. Wait for me to walk out sharpish and get in the back. And then pull away smooth and inconspicuous like. Job’s a good ‘un.
Applications to the usual address.
P.S. Thank you to Jake Arnott for all the lingo.