It took ‘Deep thought’ the supercomputer in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 7.5 million years to work out and check that the answer to literally everything is 42. It took Experian about 3 of your Earth minutes last night to get within 1 point of that particular calculation. I’m actually quite gutted that I didn’t think of this a few days ago, because I know I had paid for everything on time for well over 20 years, and would have been at least 180 degrees to the right of where that red marker dissects the visual rev counter. Of course, that was prior to the UK’s Insolvency Service sending out their smoke signals of doom, into the financial digital airwaves and ethernet cables. It would have made a great(?) comparison to show a before and after shot of my credit rating, but alas, the thought only popped into my sagging, grey matter yesterday evening.
On advice from both the Citizens Advice Bureau and also Step change the debt charity, prior to completing the bankruptcy application through the Gov.uk website, I should open a new bank account with a fresh service provider. As it happens, I already had an account laying dormant for many years with another major high street bank, so I marched down there a few weeks ago made a small deposit, renewed my debit card and as they say, Robert is your Fathers Brother. “Prepared” I thought, as I went down this morning to deposit the £30 I was given for helping a friend weed his garden. In the most fantastic Little Britain “Computer says no” style, I was informed that the account now had a ‘marker’ upon it that did not allow any transactions at all until authorised by the Insolvency Service. I must admit that an element of panic set in as I was ushered in to the branch managers, windowless, brown, drab, air conditioned office, to explain why the ageing IBM machine at the front cash desk had a rotating red strobe light and a 135dB klaxon blaring away, on it. I informed him that this was my ‘post bankruptcy account’ and has not seen a single penny of my earnings or had any dealings with any of my financial affairs since Tottenham Hotspur won the FA cup for the Eighth time with a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest. I also let him know that his particular high street bank had not been left short in their staff tea fund this month due to my unfortunate and unnecessary bankruptcy position.
I had paced no further than the front steps of the bank and down into the sweltering hot, concrete reflected heat of my adopted home town high street, and I was on the telephone to my own personal Official Receiver assigned to me by her employer. Within half an hour I had an Email from the Insolvency Service in my inbox allowing my new banking partner to remove any ‘hold’ on the account at their discretion. I tried again only 45 minutes later to deposit the money, and like grannies with double Gin and Tonics armed with oversized dabbers on a wet Tuesday night in Runcorn, “BINGO! The account was active again. Once again, a Stirling performance from the guys at the Insolvency Service.
It appears I now have a working bank account, and from what I believe from chatting on the phone with the insolvency department of my new (old) bank … I can keep the Debit Card facility on the account, meaning that a few of my worries about purchasing something online or paying the London TFL Congestion charge or the like may be allayed. I’ll wait for the new card to actually arrive and see if it remains. It will definitely have no contactless facility as these transactions can take about 2-4 days to show on your account, meaning you could over spend … and we wouldn’t want that now would we? Truth is, with my ‘Premier’ account I used to have with the Barclay Brothers, I used the contactless facility maybe half a dozen times in as many years, so actually no loss at all to me, it does however, mean that the RFID wallet I bought myself a few years ago is now defunct 🙂 The most valuable thing in that wallet now is a McDonalds Free tea/coffee voucher. It used to be a photograph of a smiling, happy and carefree woman in an Ireland rugby shirt sat in my dads armchair, drinking tea, but, like those RFID susceptible cards, it’s now been removed.
…When Tottenham won the FA cup for the 8th time, and I last used my account at the Mid West. I knew you were wondering.