Santander To Place Bow Tie On Turd

SPANISH banking giant Santander is to dress up its UK subsidiaries with a series of jolly, bright red bow ties, it was confirmed last night.

The group, which took control of Abbey National in 2004 after losing a bet in a pub, said the £50m plan would help to divert consumers from all the stinking heaps of fresh dung.

From July, the Abbey, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester will be rebranded as 'Santander', a name that, according to some experts, is not only different from the previous names, but also comes across as decidedly foreign.

Martin Bishop, banking analyst at Donnelly-McPartlin, said: "It is difficult to change perceptions when an entire industry has been acting like crackheads rampaging through a Mexican casino at the end of Oliver Reed's stag night.

"But the clever thing Santander has done is to change all the signs, thereby making all the senior executives much better at their jobs."

Mr Bishop said the foreign-sounding name marked a watershed moment in British finance, adding: "Our banking industry is now held in such contempt that customers may actually feel safer handing their money to people who are openly Spanish.

"They seem unperturbed at the prospect of their hard-earned salary being used to do unspeakable things to donkeys and feel-up their teenage cousins, or just laze around all afternoon not doing what it's told.

"Who knows? In a few years time we may even have summoned up the courage to give our money to a Frenchman."

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Nuclear Holocaust Could Knock 30% Off House Prices

A GLOBAL nuclear war followed by a new dark age of terror and despair could further depress the UK housing market, according to the Halifax.

As North Korea continued its missile tests, a survey by Britain's biggest mortage lender found that 63% would be less likely to move home if the school catchment area was overrun with three-headed monkey-dogs or gangs of mounted cannibals.

A spokesman said: "Buyers would be more cautious in a post-holocaust market, particularly if going outside resulted in certain death.

"Over the medium term we predict that prices would drop by up to 30% as the blackened survivors run around in terror, bleeding from every orifice and the landscape is transformed into mile and after mile of charred, smouldering hell.

"However, there will be some great bargains for anyone with a few iodine pills, a radiation suit and a flamethrower. So it's not all doom and gloom."

Tom Logan, deputy director of the Association of Mortgage Lenders, inisted there would almost certainly be opportunities for young, professional couples who were not coughing up too much blood.

He added: "Getting on the housing ladder could be as simple as heaving the former occupants onto the ever-growing pile of burning corpses in the street.

"And, best of all, you won't even have to check if they're still alive as the police and Crown Prosecution Service will, at the very least, be chronically short-staffed."