Picture competition

November 14, 2017

In the latest of our brain-teasing picture competitions, we invite you to win a once in a lifetime mystery prize by identifying the leading professional claims handling provider obliquely referenced in the cryptic picture clue below. Answers on a postcard to editor@bankstone-news.co.uk. Judges’ decision final no correspondence will be entered into.

New boat race? U-Boat face!

November 7, 2017

There was a time when Bankstone CEO Dixon Tilsley would go out of his way to rub shoulders with elite politicians past and present. Who can forget, for instance, the time when, for a not inconsiderable period of time, he quite literally rubbed shoulders with former Top Tory weed advocate and train fancier Miguelito Portillio.

But with the net of censure, if not punition, rapidly tightening around the current government and those therewith embroiled, DT has wisely decided to distance himself from any potential entanglement with the terminally tainted corridors of power, and hence evade unwelcome quizzing on topics such as handsiness.

To that end, he’s undergone a dramatic make-over. Gone is the clean-cut smooth-faced Gove-esque look he formerly favoured. In comes a grizzlier, unequivocally masculine, short back and sides look inspired by enemy submarine captains of the last world war.

The effect is Russel Crowe meets Jeremy Renner meets some beardy old bloke you might meet in Fitcher’s Woods round the back of Morrisons. Friends confide Mr T’s rugged new look is turning heads wherever he goes. “He’s certainly getting a lot of attention,” one confirmed, with just a hint of ambiguity.

Is the new look a hit? Judge for yourselves, Dear Readers. Why not write in and tell us. Should the face fuzz remain, or should Tyson revert to his former image and risk being mistaken for the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with all the perils that implies?

While you’re admiring the changing face of Dixie Timebomb, why not see if you can identify the particular stretch of tumbling watercourse in the picture behind him in the second shot. There’s a year’s free subscription to Bankstone News for the first correct answer. Simply email editor@bankstone-news.co.uk



New miracle spray marks bike-mounted criminals out for future arrest

October 27, 2017

Regular readers will be well aware that our illustrious sponsors, leading professional claims handling providers Bankstone, take the dimmest of possible views of motor scooters being co-opted in the perpetration of crimes against person or property.

The recent spate of attacks in which solvents have been sprayed in victims’ faces (resulting in serious injury and/or permanent disfigurement) has focussed crimefighters’ minds as never before on the issue of scooter-enabled crime.

One of the fiercest frustrations facing those intent on combatting the moped mobsters has been namby-pamby soft-on-crime rules forbidding police from chasing criminals on motorcycles when the suspects aren’t wearing helmets.

But the cops now have a new weapon of their own that could turn the tide of motorised youth thuggery, a weapon based, ironically enough, on the same principles of pressurised propulsion put to such vicious and cynical use by the Harpic-in-a-Nerf-Gun crew.

Regional news source getSurrey recently reported that five suspects were arrested after quick-thinking cops sprayed them or their vehicles with a ‘special spray’ that’s indelible, invisible, and marks the suspect out for future arrest using a synthetic DNA cod.

Along with that synthetic DNA code, the spray – tested for the first time earlier this month in such exotic southerly locations as Elmbridge, Runnymeard and Spelthorne – also has magic UV bits that show up when you shine a special light on them.

This allows cops to go round directing a special UV light wand at people, bikes and cars to see if they have had special spray sprayed on them – and then they can start arresting people. The spray is expected to play a key role in the fight against lid-less fugitive scooter crims.

To spray effectively, officers must get within 5 metres of their intended target. Otherwise they might end up spraying thin air or themselves or other officers, which could lead to the wrong people getting arrested. If that sounds challenging, Spray Day One proved otherwise.

During a single day of spraying, Surrey cops managed to mark no fewer than 17 people and 23 vehicles, subsequent checking of which led to the arrest of five individuals, one of whom was found to have 125 grams of cocaine and a couple of joints in his car.

Calming fears that cops might go a bit crazy with the new spray (which stays on a person’s skin for several months and in their lungs for potentially rather longer), Slurry Police spokesman Inspector Alan Sproston insisted that officers will only let loose when they have a ‘valid reason’.

Sproston told getSorry that the spray allows officers to “target transient offenders who use vehicles to carry out crimes,” adding that it sends a clear message that “people using scooters to commit crimes will be marked and consequently identified from the DNA UV spray.”

Anything that nudges scooters away from grim images of hammer-wielding thugs and back towards chic Italian teens buzzing round La Città Eterna (or even Phil Daniels hanging Brighton around in a parka) sounds just fine as far as Bankstone News is concerned.

Nice one, Sprosty, we say here. Spray on Surrey Police Dudes!

Sproston: no place to hide from my spray


Will UK motorsports end up Vnucked?

October 23, 2017

Regular readers will doubtless recollect some of the many memorable occasions on which Bankstone News has previously alluded to the Bane of Vnuk.

Such readers may also recall that, due to some bloke called Vnuk getting knocked off a ladder by a farm vehicle, the EU facist superstate (in one of its most loathsome incarnations as the so-called ECJ) has decreed that all vehicles everywhere (even those not on public highways) must be insured, in case they damage someone or something.

If this latest instance of Euro-nonsense is allowed to stand, it could spell the end of motorsports of all kinds in the UK (and other EU countries presumably). Which would be an absolute vnuking catastrophe.

Thankfully, a champion has arisen to defy this threat, That champion is the Motor Cycle Industries Association (MCIA) a body of which Bankstone is proud to count itself a ‘member’. For it were they, the MCIA, who bluntly warned this week that:

“All motor and motorcycle sport vehicles and drivers/riders in the UK are now required to be covered by unlimited third-party motor insurance during competition.”

Clearly this cannot, should not and indeed must not happen. Just imagine the premiums! So the MCIA is lobbying with all its might for changes to the Motor Insurance Directive that would prevent this crazy legislation putting paid to motorsports of every conceivable kind and shape within the UK for the foreseeable future.

Insurers across Europe are virtually unanimous in declining to offer any such coverage. In Finland, one of the few countries ‘bold and imaginative’ enough to try it, premiums for younger competitive motorcyclists quickly rose to €29,000 per annum, significantly cooling demand.

Thus far, stalwart Brit lawmakers have resisted implementing Vnuk. But might their resolution falter? It’s not inconceivable. Because, if they don’t, the government could get sued for damages resulting from non-implementation.

Shockingly, even Brexit may not save us from Vnuk. Not only are we stuck in the EU until March 2019, but we could well still be in the single market or abiding by its rules or something for another two years after that, as we ‘transition’.

Even after that, we might still have to harmonise with EU insurance law as part of some form of ‘mutual recognition’ required to continue doing insurance business with our continental “cousins”.

That’s it then. We’re b*ggered, you’re probably thinking, in your habitually uncouth way. Well, maybe, just maybe, not!

The Evil European Commission belatedly cottoned on to the fact that its ludicrous Vnuk legislation would have “unintended consequences” and launched a consultation entitled REFIT.

MCIA was one of a number of organisations who responded, explaining how the law as proposed would whack a dirty great spanner in the wheels of motorsport (you can see all the responses here).

Will those tyrannical Eurocrats finally listen to sense? Or will it be bendy bananas all over again?

Watch this space!

Have you seen Bankstone’s new brochure?

October 13, 2017

It’s not that we’ve lost it or anything. We just wondered whether you’re still languishing among the rapidly dwindling ranks of those unfortunate mortals who’ve yet to lay eyes upon this marvel of 21st Century corporate communications.

Because if you are – believe us, Folks – you could not be more bigly missing out.

Since news first broke of the online availability of this ‘masterpiece’ synthesis of word and image, description and depiction, fact and fiction, literally thousands have flocked to the hallowed URL whereat this marvel may be beheld. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really ask yourself what on earth you have been doing.

It’s basically really great, and it tells you pretty much everything you could ever want to know about professional outsourced claims handling provider Bankstone. More, if anything. And it has pictures of cars. And the colours are really nice. Trust us, you’re literally going to love it. In a platonic, or maybe a romantic, way. Nothing pervy or anything.

So stop dillying around reading these empty and insignificant words and get yourself along to insert web address and take a look for yourself. You can turn the pages just by moving your mouse (the one attached to your computer) and then you actually see those pages sort of flippy-flopping over.

It’s totally dope. Check it out, Homeboy!*

*Or Girlfriend, obviously.

If you’re a girl.

Or a lady.

Oh, OK then: a ‘woman’.

Bankstone News celebrates its 400th edition!

October 10, 2017

Can you believe it? Bankstone News is 400 issues old this week. Let that, as they say, sink in.

Actually, our 400th edition should have been last week, but since 366 of those 400 issues have been, shall be say, un soupspoon on retard, that’s pretty much par for le course.

Four hundred. Four bloomin’ hundred! Would you credit it!

It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating a paltry 300 (see below).

We call it 300 like the Romans

To commemorate this auspicious occasion, we thought you might like to cast an affectionately rheumy eye back over some of the highlights and high tide marks of Bankstone News’ 400 year history. This you can do by clicking on some of the bits in the boxy things.

Who could forget the unforgettable dietary guidance note compiled by Bankstone director Dick N Tyzer on behalf of his former co-director Andrew Jones (see below).

Hospitality guidance

Who, either, could forget, for instance, the time our guest reviewer Marty Butch took an an Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 tdi out for a spin (see below).

Marty Butch tests an Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 tdi

Who, even, could forget the time Bankstone and Friends dresses up like Knights and Ladies and rode around Yorkshire a bit for charity (see below).

Medieval Monkeys: the terrible truth

A video experience you’ll never forget!

October 2, 2017

More retentive readers may recall we’ve written a couple of times recently about the motorspots event of the century (which, perhaps counterintuitively, has nothing to do with F1, British Superbikes or even the Reliant Rally, but which is, in fact, or was, in fact, Insurance Endurance 2017 “Klash of Karts”).

In one recent news item on this popular topic we exclusively revealed the existence of a secret stash of highly sensitive snaps showing some of the crazy antics up to which those attending this prestigious event got, as it were, on the day. Now, if you can credit such a thing, we can go one better!

There’s a video!

Not, perhaps, since rumours began circulating of candid footage recording Parish Hilton, Kim Kardashery or that other one engaging in popular leisure activities of the intimate kind, has any video release been quite so keenly anticipated.

Well, anticipate not more! You can see it all here.

So what are you waiting for: mix yourself a triple Long Island Iced Tea, whack some steak and lobster popcorn in the meekrowahveh, and prepare to soak up the spectacle.

Butch lives!

September 24, 2017

Older readers may recall how a bloke called Marty Butch used to contribute road test reviews to the ‘pages’ of Bankstone News.

Sadly, Butch passed away in a tragic accident of his own devising when his attempt to electrify Dixon Tilsley’s VW Up went horribly wrong back in the Spring of 2013.

Or… did he?

That’s what everyone thought for the past four and a half years. But was it really true? Bankstone News investigates…

Doubts first emerged when someone bearing an uncanny resemblance to the late lamented Butch was spotted playing Rugby League in a Halifax jersey.

And then, when we started asking questions around the West Yorx region, more and more people reported having caught fleeting glimpses of someone suspiciously Butch-like.

Months of patient investigation, culminating in calling his mobile number, revealed that… Butch lives!

Apparently we’re not supposed to tell anyone – because he’s assumed a new identity as Martin B Utch and is trying to make a fresh start, but our former motoring correspondent is in fact alive and… well…

When we quizzed him as to why he’d staged the elaborate garage-incinerating ‘accident’ in which Tilsley’s Up and (as everyone assumed at the time) Mr Butch himself were totalled, he confessed that he’d run up crippling debts to the Butch family swear jar and felt he had no alternative but to stage his own death and start afresh in Penistone.

But offers of a role as ‘loose forward’ with the Fax and a semi-regular stand-up spot at Bojangles in Wakefield lured him back into the spotlight where ultimately we found him (in the latter capacity one wednesday night) leaning on a mic stand like a foul-mouthed guitar-less David Gedge, boozin’ and faggin’, and rambling incoherently to general and lively acclaim.

To cut a long story short, he’s agreed to do some more road test reviews for us – but only so long as we use his pseudonym and don’t tell Mrs Butch, who – as far as he knows – may still be totting up the interest on his unpaid swear-jar debt.

So, as the clocking-off astronomy shift-worker says to his clocking-on colleague, watch this space!

That tantalising first glimpse

Theft and thuggery, a ‘dealer’ speaks out

September 15, 2017

You know us at Bankstone News: why we would bother writing something ourselves when we can borrow something much better that someone else has written already.

It was in precisely this spirit that we spent all of ten seconds deciding to bring you the letter reproduced (largely un-mangled) below, which recently featured in esteemed industry organ British Dealer News.

The epistle in question sprang originally from the pen of esteemed dealer Pete Aitkenhead. It has important points to make about an issue of real concern in the market today: the scourge of violent crimes involving motorcycles currently raging in London and other towns and cities up and down the UK.

Frankly it’s a tad light on jokes, but then moped enabled crime is hardly a laughing matter and it’s well worth reading just the same.

We need to address the despicable double act of theft and thuggery

I’ve been in the bike trade long enough to see history repeating itself, and I fear we may be heading there again.

In around 1994, Norwich Union was paying out £2 in claims for every pound it took in premiums. So it discontinued its much-loved Rider policy, which allowed you to own, insure and ride several bikes for one reasonable premium.

Back then, Norwich Union enjoyed two-thirds of the market, around 400,000 riders, but stepped back because of the problem of spiralling thefts. In came a new Premier policy, with 17 bands instead of the previous seven. No-one under 28 was accepted. No-claims bonuses were not offered. Premiums rocketed.

Several other companies bailed out of bike insurance altogether.

That same year, Fowlers took on the parts distribution for Piaggio, whose vehicle sales grew steadily under the excellent stewardship of Giuseppe Tranchina. He took a different approach to sales and marketing, and built a strong network of good dealer relations. But he was being held back, particularly where youngsters were concerned, by high insurance costs.

In conjunction with Lexham Insurance, Piaggio began offering a flat premium of £125, which made their machines accessible to a much wider audience. Sales went through the roof, doubling over several successive years.

Insurance companies are constantly analysing the market. Which vehicles incur most costs? Where are they located? But actuaries don’t live in a bubble. They also watch the TV news.

In recent years, PTWs have had a generally positive press: low fuel consumption, allowed in bus lanes, no congestion charge, widely used in fast (and fast food) deliveries in London and across the UK.

But now they are starting to be seen as theft liabilities, ridden by acid or hammer wielding thugs. We urgently need to do something to address this.

I have been somewhat appalled at the casual attitude of the government to the recent acid attacks. They can say only that they are going to “review” the situation. In general discussion with staff here, I said I couldn’t see the difference between carrying a loaded gun or a knife and a container of acid. One of the staff spun round in his chair and said “I’d rather be shot.”

There are laws for dealing with Burglar Bill wandering the streets at night with a bag of screwdrivers and a jemmy (it’s called going equipped). If the Plod pull a scooter rider over, and a search reveals a mobile phone, some keys, and a container of acid, the conclusion is inevitable.

One MP said on the radio that the problem is that substances like bleach and drain cleaner can be found under everyone’s kitchen sink. Sir, I rest my case! Because under the sink is where they should be. Anywhere else, and someone should be getting their collar felt.

If machine thefts don’t stop, bike sales will dry up. Then you have no-one left to sell to – whether you’re talking about, helmets, locks, insurance or whatever.

Secondly, I’d be willing to bet these acid attacks aren’t being committed using legitimately owned vehicles. So, if we can slow up the thefts, we can help remove the tools these thugs need to carry out their despicable acts.

Lastly, I have heard police won’t pursue stolen scooters or fail-to-stops when the riders aren’t wearing crash helmets – just the ubiquitous hoodie – in case the Dear Little Things get injured.

I have an opinion on that, and I expect most others will as well!

– Pete Aitkenhead, Fowlers of Bristol



September 8, 2017

Do you like flip books? Bankstone News is willing to wager that you do. Who doesn’t after all! Ha, ha, ha. Lol 🙂

What do you mean ‘What’s a flip book?’ No, it’s not a glib, superficially humorous or otherwise unserious volume. No, it isn’t ‘something rude’ (perish the thought). And, no – although, inspired guess, that one – nor is it a lavishly illustrated retrospective of the late-lamented 80s London importer of discarded US 50s clothing.

A flip book is one of those online versions of a paper-based document where you can do the virtual equivalent of turning the pages and thereby navigate the thing at a ‘traditional’ pace.

Anyway, flip books are great; and now Bankstone has it very own one, faithfully based on its keenly awaited forthcoming brochure (see previous editions of Bankstone News).

We are happy to announce that this unique document is now available for your exclusive perusal at a web location you can reach by simply clicking here. Why not take a look!

In it you will find a host of fascinating information about Bankstone and the stuff it does, and a nicely judged quantity of well-grounded (often understated) claims to attributes such as professionalism, expertise, technical excellence and so on.

It’s an evocative and timeless portrait of a professional claims handling business at the very top of its game, a profound and moving tribute to the tireless dedication and perfectionism that sets a company like Bankstone apart from other superficially similar ones that aren’t really up to much, quite frankly.

We hope you enjoy it. But if you really aren’t down with bleeding-edge media technology like flip books and you’d prefer one of those old-skool offline ones, where you have to lick your tar-stained, unmanicured Wotsits-reeking fingers to turn the pages, never fear!

Those are available too (although all the signed ones have gone now).

You only have to ask!

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