The Independent, 28 July 2012

After another week of banking shenanigans, one poll suggested that 75% of us would like to move our current accounts to a better provider. But who? Given that our mattresses offer a very poor rate of interest, the question of where we should take our banking business becomes increasingly vexed.

You don’t want to go to Natwest, obviously, because they have succumbed to a second computer glitch – a nice small word which doesn’t remotely convey the panic felt with your debit card suddenly stops working, and you don’t know how you’ll buy food – leaving their customers temporarily screwed for the second time in just over a month.

But you can’t switch your account to Barclays, because they fabricated their LIBOR figures to such an extent that it turned out, contrary to all popular belief, that shame could just penetrate the adamantine soul of Bob Diamond. And nor can you go to HSBC, because of that ugly drug-money they’ve been laundering in Mexico. Giving your money to a bank which is under criminal investigation by the US department of justice is only one toddler’s step away from simply giving it to someone called Big Louie, whose barbershop is staffed entirely by men who look like Joe Pesci.

So you might think that Nationwide is the place for you, because at least they’re a mutual, so unlike the banks, they might have morals above those of rabid dogs who believe there’s only one chew-toy left in the world, and that all the other dogs have a head start.

But then Nationwide suffered a human error this week, which caused chaos for their customers. Errors can happen to anyone, obviously, but that’s easily said when you’re not one of the 700,000 people Nationwide accidentally double-debited. And even more easily said when you’re not one of the 50,000 people who they consequently sent into the red.

There’s always the Co-op, which sounds nice and friendly, and like your gran probably banked there. But the nearest Co-op to me is three and a half miles away, and an hour’s walk is a long way to have to go each time I need to pay in a cheque. That’s a seven mile round-trip. So actually, maybe I should join the Co-op, cancel my gym membership and thus kill two birds with one loan.