Mayor’s bank siege drama ends peacefully - after staff return his cashpoint card

A HAPPY Mayor of Calderdale is reunited with his bank card after an afternoon of drama at the Nat West.

Our civic leader held a one-man protest in the Hebden Bridge branch at Crown Street after an ATM machine malfunctioned.

Staff wouldn’t return the card to Coun Nader Fekri so he refused to leave the building.

When the doors were locked at closing time he was left inside and police were called.

Two officers attended and all was resolved amicably in the end.

Coun Fekri told the Courier he put his card into the ATM.

“Unfortunately, a slip of paper (a receipt) went with it and the machine jammed,” he said.

“I went inside the bank and staff opened the machine and gave me the paper back but would not give me my card back.”

Staff told him it was policy to retain the card and for him to ring a helpline if he wasn’t happy.

He did, and was told the card could be returned at the branch’s discretion.

But, staff said there was no branch manager on the premises and still refused to budge and while they sent an email to managers they left the mayor waiting without an answer - and his card.

“They asked me to leave and I said `no’ as I was told different tales and the branch could have used discretion,” said Coun Fekri.

“I had ID. I was off to Aachen at 4 am today to represent Calderdale and the bank was holding my card and money hostage.

“It was ludicrous.”

Bank staff continued working behind the counter leaving the mayor in the foyer and the branch door locked until police arrived.

Coun Fekri said when police intervened his card was subsequently returned and he wished the bank could have sorted the matter without involving the police.