Banks Use Man-Eating Tigers To Deter New Borrowers

BRITAIN'S leading mortgage lenders are to deter new customers with a range of tactics including man-eating tigers and a huge Arab warrior armed with a mighty sword.

From today the Woolwich will position a pair of ravenous Bengal tigers outside its branches, while the Nationwide has rigged a boobytrap consisting of hundreds of small poisoned arrows that will be triggered by a pressure pad under the doormat.

Customers who survive the arrows will then have to swing across a moat filled with electric eels before entering the Domain of the Scorpion.

The giant scorpion not only carries an instantly fatal poison in its tail but can shoot fire from its pincers. Would-be homeowners will have to stab the creature between the eyes to have any hope of borrowing more than three times their joint salary.

If they defeat the scorpion they will then have to survive Knife Alley and the Room of the Enormous Hammers, making sure they are not distracted by the vultures picking clean the bones of previous failed applicants.

And just as they are in sight of the mortgage advisor, out of the shadows will step Al-Hassan, an invincible seven foot-tall Arab Warrior, armed with a razor sharp scimitar and wearing a necklace fashioned from the thumbs of his enemies.

Independent financial advisers are urging their clients to either run at the swordsman with a long spear, or if possible, just shoot him in the middle of the chest.

A Nationwide spokesman said: "If you can get past Al-Hassan, then yes, you can have a fucking mortgage."

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Richard Branson Dies Laughing

TRIBUTES are being paid to Sir Richard Branson this morning after the Virgin Atlantic boss died of laughter.

Sir Richard was discovered at his West London home early today, slumped over on the sofa with a huge smile on his face and the television stuck on Sky News.

Staff at his Holland Park mansion said they heard him banging on the floor shouting, 'stop, stop, I can't take any more!' before he let out one final burst of uncontrollable laughter.

A company spokesman said: "Something must have set him off yesterday afternoon. I called him at around 4pm and he could hardly speak. At one point I think I heard him say he'd pissed himself.

"It's a shame because he would probably have wanted to go in a balloon accident or some other self-promotional activity."

Meanwhile Heathrow has hailed the catastrophic opening of its new terminal five as an 80% improvement on a normal day at terminals one, two, three and four.

British Airways passengers had to wait five hours to collect their bags, compared to the usual 12, and only 300,000 pieces of luggage went missing over the day.

Airport boss Bill McKay said an 'outstanding' first 24 hours had been marred only by a small riot and a handful of isolated knife fights.

He added: "It did turn a bit nasty when someone pointed out the terminal was just a big shed that wasn't actually connected to any departure gates. Still, thank God for Alsatians, eh?"