A brush with the squirrel

One grrrrr! And, eventually, three cheers to the Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, with whom I have just managed to open a bank account – OK, tis but a humble Saver account, but that’s a start.

My visit opened inauspiciously. After trying HSBC (who don’t open accounts in the local branch) and Barclays (of whom the less said the better – but see next post for details), I wandered a few yards further on to the N&P. I mean…they used to have a squirrel on their logo, so they must be friendly. Or nuts. Or something.

A cute - but armed -squirrel

We began promisingly. In the absence of photo id, their leaflet explained, I needed two bits of id, one from each of two separate lists. For the first, I produced my tax documents, which now proudly show me as me: for the second, my Council Tax bill, also made out to Ms Jane Fae. Well, Ms J Fae actually: a brief moment of panic as I wondered whether initial would not be good enough. It was.

So far so good. Except the counter lady hadn’t seen this sort of tax form before (some debate as to why it wasn’t green. Answer: cause it’s a self-assessment form!). It also didn’t hep that she confused paying Council Tax with being on the Electoral Register. So she rang somewhere else for guidance.

Ah. If I wasn’t on the Electoral Register (which I won’t be until December), the helpful voice informed, I’d need a photo id…which would of course include a passport. Hang on, I interjected (a lovely word, that!): the leaflet clearly says that if you don’t have a passport or aren’t on the electoral roll…then pick one item from each list. We are back at the start.

Lady behind counter looks flustered and talks urgently to person on phone: “The gentleman says…”. What!!!

As gone over at length elsewhere, I don’t exactly pass yet. But puh-lease: common courtesy. Here I am wearing a tasteful grey and pink outfit: very feminine. I’ve just presented documents identifying myself not just as Jane Fae, but as Ms Jane Fae. Calmly I explain my dissatisfaction – then call for the manager.

Instant relief. After about two minutes talking with the manager, she reads through the leaflet, agrees with me, and picks up the phone again. Yes. Yes. Yes. I am perfectly entitled to open an account on the basis of the documents provided. Can’t get a cheque book without a credit check (which I sort of guessed and didn’t need anyway). And ten minutes later, I am the proud possessor of a new Norwich and Peterborough Savings Account.


So all’s well that ends well. The counter lady apologised. I did not scowl or even throw anything at her on the way out and…I went home a happy girl.



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