What’s the difference between Mexico and Mauritius? About £18,000 at the Abbey National. The two countries may be about 12,000 miles apart, but they’re side-by-side in the alphabet – and that appears to be how a foreign exchange clerk managed to make a keystroke error that resulted in her selling a suitcase-load of Mexican currency at the Mauritian rupee rate of 35 to the pound, rather than the peso rate of 14.5. Two customers benefited: one of them refused to hand back her £12,500 “profit”, even in exchange for a £1,000 “gesture of goodwill” from the Abbey Nat. “When does a bank ever show customers goodwill?” retorted the customer to the Daily Telegraph. Another customer agreed to take a gain of just £6,000 instead of the £15,000 that she had originally been given. Banks need more customers like that – and we need more banks like the Abbey Nat.
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