A story came out this week that seemed 10 years too late – owing to a computer glitch, a sizeable number of Bank of Queensland and BankWest ATM and eftpos machines malfunctioned and stopped working. The reason? An internal clock in the devices ticked over to 2016 instead of 2010, thereby rendering any card with an expiry date earlier than 2016 out of date.
It was always a disappointment to me when the millennium rolled in and nothing happened. Kevin Costner had a large part to play in this, my desire to live in a barren post-apocalyptic wasteland piqued after watching Waterworld. I bought the canned goods and the bottled water. I sacrificed an entire summer’s worth of backyard cricket so I could construct a fallout shelter in the garden. So it was with glee and perhaps the tiniest glimmer of hope that I read about this latest development.
Were there irregularities in the time space continuum in Queensland and Western Australia? Should I be expecting a drive-by visit from a Delorean? More importantly, should I evict the 20 Israeli backpackers from my bomb shelter? They’ve been a real cash cow through the recession.
The whole saga got me thinking about what the world of banking will be like 6 years from now so I’ve constructed a basic timeline of events:
2011 – Gail Kelly becomes a blender jockey at her local Boost Juice after getting the heave-ho from Westpac on the back of a failure to glean a single home loan application in 2010.
2012 – In a bloody coup, the two American marketing gurus in the Commonwealth Bank ads take over the bank and install basketball hoops in branches and hand out money box transformers to kids, actually making going to the bank somewhat enjoyable. This popularity springboards them ahead of the competition and they take over an ailing Westpac, re-branding themselves as ‘Compac’.
2013 – NAB forced by the Australian government, led by a Hologram of the late John Howard, to annex ANZ when a financially crippled New Zealand becomes an Australian state (South Tasmania) and the unifying moniker of National Australia Bank was deemed to suffice for both.
2014 – Compac flourish for a couple of years till they are successfully sued for billions of dollars by American computer manufacturer ‘Compaq’ for copyright infringement. Daily Telegraph headline reports that the outcome has put the ‘Bank back into bankrupt’. Daily Telegraph headline writer fired.
2015 – With ‘Compac’ in dire straits, all their concerns are taken over by NAB. NAB renamed ‘The Bank’.
2016 – Nationwide backlash to what Howard labels a “perceived lack of competition”. Financial markets crippled as investors lose faith in “The Bank” after a 0.25% Reserve Bank increase is met with a 15% rise in the mortgage rate.
Year 0 – Former ANZ upper management turned radical New Zealand nationalists hacked into the software controlling the Howard hologram, and through a series of poorly thought out foreign policy moves, make North Korea unleash three nuclear warheads. Only those of us with fallout shelters remain. We have no oil or water, but luckily I have Gail Kelly with me to make me smoothies, fruit whips and juices. And there isn’t a financial institution in sight.
I guess the apocalypse ain’t so bad after all…
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