Web cars coming soon


As if distractions like sat navs, cell phones and MP3/CD players were not enough, prepare to enter the brave new world of the Internet automobile.

Why would anyone want to forsake the wonderful worldwide web world for boring old steering and road watching? Fear not: soon you need never unplug from the online experience. Within the next 18 months, according to record organ The Times, new cars being developed by Ford and Audi will be fully web-enabled, allowing users (formerly known as drivers) to surf the net, email, Skype (“John, you seem a little distracted.”), and call up sites like Google Maps or Comparethemeerkat behind the wheel.

Carmakers apparently claim this “will transform cars from tools used to get from A to B into mobile offices, complete with all the conveniences of the digital age.” We always knew that A to B stuff was over-rated. Why hare around the country when you can pull over in a lay-by with a Big Mac and Beyoncé bouncing on your YouTube.

“MyFord Touch” will be “a state-of-the-art in-car computer that brings the internet direct to the dashboards of a mass-produced vehicle for the first time” allowing users to “access the web via a built-in browser, developed in conjunction with Microsoft, and an 8in LCD touchscreen

What could possibly be wrong with that?

Killjoys point out that “in-car distraction” was a contributory factor in 84 fatalities, 429 serious injuries and 4,255 slight injuries in the UK in 2008, while in the US the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes 6,000 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2008.

Good news, though, for all those people who really like to touch their cars.


Bankstone’s sister company Bankstone Advantage has a new website. Advantages, of course, are almost universally regarded as good things (though fair-play sticklers may baulk at those deemed unfair) and Bankstone Advantage is certainly no exception to this rule.

But what advantage or advantages, precisely, you may wonder – assuming you haven’t already clicked off to their new site to find out for yourself – does Bankstone Advantage bestow upon its clients? Well, quite a few, actually. Exactly which depends on whether you’re a fleet manager, somebody running a leasing company, an insurer or a broker.

Commiserations, incidentally, to those who find themselves none of these things. If that’s you, you might want to take a few moments to ask yourself where your life has gone wrong and whether, perhaps there’s still time, as Michael Jackson used to say, before clearly there wasn’t for him or that weird looking bloke in the mirror, to make a change.

Rather than spill the beans here, and thereby inevitably spoil the suspense, Bankstone News will spare you the specifics and content itself with urging you, in the strongest possible terms, whatever niche you call your own in life’s professional panoply, to visit Bankstone Advantage’s richly informative and user friendly website to find out for yourself.

You’re sure to find it a refreshing change from the tediously protracted and utterly unilluminating old b*ll*cks you’ve just read.


Latest road fatality figures underline urgent need to support the UK’s Air Ambulance services, argues Bankstone’s Dickon Tysoe in the following article which first appeared in a proper insurance publication somewhere.

The Department for Transport’s 2006 RTA fatality figures, just released, underline the need to support life-saving volunteer organisations like the UK’s regional air ambulance service, says Dickon Tysoe, director of outsourced motor claims handling firm Bankstone, which specialises in motorcycle claims.

The statistics show 599 motorcycle user fatalities in 2006, up 5 per cent on 2005, out of a total 3,172 road users killed. At 6,484, the number of bikers killed or seriously injured was down less than 1 per cent from 2005’s figure of 6,508.

Tysoe, whose firm Bankstone embarks this weekend (8 July) on a 420-mile round Yorkshire monkey bike rally to raise money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) ‚ along with brokers MCE, RTA legal firm Fletchers and hire company BLD, claims many more lives would be lost without the involved of the air ambulance service.

“The very severe injuries often suffered by motorcyclists,” he says, “require rapid medical intervention if lives are to be saved. If the air ambulances weren’t there to provide emergency first aid and rush injured bikers to medical centres with the necessary facilities many more would die on our roads each year. Specialising in motorcycle RTAs, as we do, we understand only too well the difference speed of response makes.”

Tysoe is urging everyone involved in the world of road transport or motor insurance ‚ or indeed anyone who uses Britain’s roads ‚ to consider supporting the YAA by donating to Bankstone’s Monkey Monopoly fundraising exercise (for details see www.justgiving.com/monkeymonopoly and the biking news section on Bankstone’s website at www.bankstone.co.uk)

The YAA, based at Leeds Bradford Airport, is particularly deserving of support, Tysoe believes, “Because they are the only UK air ambulance service still flying after 6pm, and with a second helicopter based in Sheffield shortly due to commence operations they will be covering an even larger area in and out of regular flying hours.”

Full details of the DfT’s 2006 road accident statistics click here.


Leading specialist outsourced claims provider Bankstone has made a significant investment in a major IT development project to become the first claims firm in the UK to introduce an instant online validation system for its claims handling call centre in Brighouse, West Yorks.

Now when Bankstone’s front-line claims handling staff take a call, the system‚ bespoke designed for Bankstone by software house SSP‚ automatically populates Bankstone’s claims-handling system with client data from SSP brokers’ systems over the Internet. Without ever having to leave their screen, the call handler therefore knows exactly who they are talking to‚ avoiding the need to ask callers for information already known to their broker (for example whether they have legal expenses cover).

Previously claims handling firms’ broker integrations systems have at best, relied on physical links with the broker’s back office systems. According to Bankstone director Dickon Tysoe, the new approach is “slicker, quicker and far more powerful. Because it is fully automated and online it can, for example, poll half a dozen (or more) of the broker’s local offices around the country to access the relevant data. This gives us a significant advantage over other claims handling operations and should make us a very attractive partner to any broking firm using SSP as their systems provider.”

Fellow Bankstone director Andrew Jones adds: “We have been very impressed with the efficient professional involvement of SSP in this groundbreaking project. We are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently and more productively, and together with SSP we have succeeded in moving the whole process of outsourced claims handling another step forward.”

Since it began trading in November 2004 specialist outsourced claims provider Bankstone has established itself as a leading specialist provider of complete claims management solutions to brokers, insurance companies and other claims management companies. Set up by founder directors Dickon Tysoe and Andrew Jones to realise their shared vision for a better way of handling motorcycle claims, the company has the expertise and the resources to offer a full menu of competitively-priced expert services including: claims management, ULR, bike replacement schemes and breakdown and accident policies.

What our clients say about us

Jo was exceptionally helpful and professional throughout dealing with my accident claim She made me feel at ease and explained all the options available to me and guided me through the process sheer bliss considering the nature of me calling the team
Mr. D - Doncaster