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Banking on a comprehensive forensic analysis of spending for the sake of the Kiwis

Dear Uncle Norm,

Thank you for applying for a home loan from this bank. The 25-page “expenditure analysis” you completed for us complies with the government’s new credit rules.

These are done for your own good. The government wants to protect you from yourself.

You note that on December 12, you paid $12 to dry-clean some pants. A financially responsible person would have washed them at home!

Additionally, footage from CTV confirms that you recently left an Arrowtown bottle shop with a paper bag that likely contained alcohol.

Your form shows two occasional purchases of Jimmy’s Pies ($4 each) in September. (Pies fatten citizens and fill our hospitals). Your receipts also reveal that you order double cheese on pizzas.

This image of risk free is confirmed by your monthly spending of $11.99 on Netflix (on top of your Sky Sport!) and the salt and vinegar crisps on your supermarket slips.

Unfortunately, your request does not meet the new Secured Borrowing Guidelines, so we have to decline it. Please get back to me if you are ready to commit to a lifestyle consistent with the government’s responsible lending concept.

Ms. N. Anny-State, (for) Regional Director.

Dear manager. I have reformed since receiving your rejection letter and am requesting permission to reapply.

I am now vegan. I replaced the pinot with elderflower water and started my day with a Pilates video.

Additionally, I removed various financial indulgences as per the list you suggested. I drowned Tiddles the cat on Wednesday and enclose proof that I canceled donations previously made via monthly deductions for the Salvation Army and the Cancer Society.

Hello Uncle Norm,

With baby on the way, we started house hunting last September. Our bank gave us a boost in the amount of our proposed mortgage. We have now found the house, but the bank has looked at us and said that our loan is now prohibited because we have “inappropriate expenses”.

Our plans are in tatters. Loans manager blamed new government legislation, but is he just covering his butt?

Sherry & Mike (via email)

His behind is flawless. You have been the victim of blind legislative incompetence.

The banks vigorously warned the Ardern government that its new finance and credit legislation was botched.

Labor’s reforms aim to reign in payday lenders and petty loan sharks, but banks have predicted their larger effect will be a rules-created credit crunch that will affect normal lending.

Banks’ concerns were of course ignored. (Wellington knows best).

There should be general hilarity over Commerce Secretary David Clark’s hurt statement that, damn it, he would ask the Council of Financial Regulators to investigate whether banks were implementing the legislation “as intended”.

Companies can put rules in place. But “intentions?” Spare us.

We are seeing a masterclass in strangling an industry and its customers with huge rolls of bureaucracy. The government leads by inventing a series of new rules, after which the banks’ legal departments – no bureaucracy left behind either – compound the problems by trying to interpret them.

The resulting idiocy is deadly to normal Kiwis. Like you.

Dear Uncle Norm

Sidney Poitier was worth $30 million when he died on New Year’s Eve, aged 94.

In 1963, he became the first black American to win the Oscar for Best Actor. And the roles he played in movies like To Sir With Love, Guess

Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night made him the first black idol of cinema matinees.

His main roles involved “respectable” black men in suits. It seems to me that despite being a beacon of equality in the early civil rights era, he was totally disconnected from the harsh scrabble life of many modern black Americans.


You couldn’t be more wrong.
Poitier was only 15 when, alone, he moved from the Caribbean to the United States. It was 1943. For two years he worked a series of miserably paid jobs and often slept on the streets. Eager to return home, he wrote a letter that astonishes with its desperation, its naivety and its target.

Dear President Roosevelt,
My name is Sidney Poitier and I am here in the United States in New York. I’m from the Bahamas. I would like to go back to the Bahamas but I have no money. I would like to borrow $100 from you.

I’ll send it back to you as soon as I get there. I miss my mom and dad, I miss my siblings, and I miss my home in the Caribbean. . .

If you would lend me $100 to get home, I would certainly appreciate it.

Your fellow American,

Sidney Poitier

John Lapsley is an Arrowtown writer.