||Bank-Themed April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Bank Teller Fees.
The Savings Bank of Rockville, a small, Connecticut-based bank, placed an ad in the Journal-Inquirer announcing that from that point forward it would be charging a $5 fee to customers who visited a live teller. The ad, which appeared on March 31, claimed that the fee was necessary in order to provide, "professional, caring and superior customer service." Although the ad was a joke, many customers did not perceive it as such. One woman reportedly closed her account at the bank because of it. The bank ran a second ad later revealing that the initial ad was a joke. The bank manager commented that the ad really "commits us to not charging such fees."
Zebra Savings Account.
The London Sunday Telegraph described an astonishing new savings account that guaranteed to pay the best rate available on the market at all times. The account was called a ZEBRA, short for Zero Energy Best Rate Account. It was being offered by the Hungarian bank Loof Lirpa, through its British subsidiary Lirpa UK. The bank was supposedly able to offer such a compelling rate because it used "a complicated mix of investment vehicles, including futures, options, swaps and pixies" (pixies, of course, are small, magical creatures, not investment vehicles). Thousands of people called the Sunday Telegraph seeking more information about this "trouble-free maximum-paying, no-risk investment."
Abbey National, a British bank, revealed an April Fool's Day joke that never came to fruition. It planned to offer its customers the ability to download and print money from their home computer. An Abbey National employee said, ""We were going to say that it would suit all those couch potatoes who don't want to go to the bank to get their money out. We would make available a system where you could download money from your personal computer and print it out on paper at home." However, the Bank of England, citing concerns about encouraging forgery, strongly advised Abbey National not to proceed with their joke.
I’m Here To Take Money.
A 57-year-old woman stopped at a Wells Fargo Bank in Brainerd, Massachusetts to make a withdrawal. After concluding her transaction, as a joke she handed the teller a note that read, "I'm here to take money." The teller called the police and told them the bank was being robbed. By the time the police arrived, the woman had left, but they later picked her up and charged her with disorderly conduct.
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