A BANK’S slogan “We’re here to help” has been ridiculed by the Mayor of Calderdale.
Coun Nader Fekri claimed staff were “jobsworths” after his afternoon ordeal at the NatWest branch in Crown Street, Hebden Bridge.
Our civic leader was locked inside while in dispute with staff and his plight, relayed to the Courier from inside the building, sent the newspaper’s new-media sites into a frenzy.
The bank’s ATM machine malfunctioned and staff refused to return his First Direct Bank card.
So Coun Fekri refused to budge, the doors were locked to the public, and the police were called.
A few diplomatic words from the boys in blue and the mayor’s ID including passport, photo card and council card showing him dressed in civic regalia, were finally enough for staff to relent and return his card.
“It was a jobsworth incident and I’m really sorry the police were dragged out for it,” said Coun Fekri.
Once concluded there was another twist in the tale as a bank worker told police she had been advised by head office security that after Coun Fekri had left the premises the officers should return to escort bank staff to their cars.
Coun Fekri said the officers refused, saying he wasn’t causing any problem and they wouldn’t be acting as personal bodyguards.
He said the return of the card showed the bank had the power to avoid the confrontation and there was no need to involve the police with petty bureaucracy.
“All is well that ended well,” said a relieved Coun Fekri, who hours later flew out to represent Calderdale on a visit to our twin town of Aachen, Germany.
A spokesperson for NatWest said: “We are governed by the policy of other banks. Unfortunately these things happen. He is not our customer and we are not authorised to hand over a card which is the card of another bank.”