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Opinion

I’m a bank account kinda guy

Banks are exploring new and radical ways to offer more to their clients through digital platforms. But they shouldn’t forget the bedrock of banking.

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Back in the early 1980s, when I was at university engrossed in Shakespeare and romantic poetry, the cultural highlight of my week was a TV comedy show called ‘The Young Ones’, about a group of hapless students sharing a filthy and dilapidated house. 

It showcased rising stars of alternative British comedy such as Adrian Edmonson playing the deranged punk, Vyvyan Basterd, and Nigel Planer as my personal favourite, Neil, the mournful drippy hippy who lived on lentil stew and took a degree in Peace Studies.

I grew up with them. When I was making my career in financial journalism, Edmonson and Planer took the man’s dollar reprising their characters in TV adverts for banks. It made us spit with fury, but these ads were almost as funny as the original shows.

Vyvyan turned out to be a bank account kind of guy after all, even though he ended up head-butting the wall of his NatWest on discovering he needn’t have shaved of his red Mohawk to open one. He just needed a pound and a reference. 


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