I would like to provide your readers and NAB shareholders with some information on an exciting new product from NAB. A product that has been tailored for the low income earner and one in which they can spend to their hearts content – AND NEVER HAVE TO PAY A SINGLE CENT BACK. Yes you heard right. Free money! It works like this: NAB’s new product, a Visa debit card, is a card which works like a credit card but can only be used if the customer has cash in their savings account. At least is was meant to be set up that way. For example: if you had $200 in your Visa debit card account you could buy a plane ticket online or do grocery shopping. In fact you can purchase anything you like wherever Visa accepts payments. But there is a glitch in NAB’s systems and it would appear that customers don’t actually need any money in their account to use the card – and boy is news spreading like wildfire amongst the craftier people out there. After just a couple of weeks hundreds of these account holders have worked this out and have gone on massive shopping sprees with some customers spending upwards of $30,000 each. Funny? But wait there’s more. As most of these customers are only getting Centrelink payments and because the accounts are technically a savings account NAB is legally not allowed to list these as defaults. NAB can collect on these accounts but only if the customer agrees to pay. Once again, legally, customers on Centrelink payments who have a debt with a bank are entitled to repay 10% of their payment each fortnight – they get to keep 90% of their payments. The customers could agree to repay $30,000 over 25 years interest free – or they could just open up a new account at another bank and inform Centrelink of the change. Middle management was informed but it turned out that that manager kept this information to themself for two weeks. It became apparent they had not informed their colleagues purely by chance. In just a few weeks NAB has lost $250,000 with this new product, but you won’t hear the customers who have benefited from this monumental cock up complaining. They are having the time of their life no doubt, not to mention a very Merry Christmas.

The South Australian State Emergency Services Minister Carmel Zollo has been told by Premier Mike Rann (currently on leave) and acting Premier Kevin Foley to have Country Fire Services chief Euan Ferguson's resignation on their desk before close of business Friday. This has come about after the Coronial inquiry into the Eyre Peninsula Fires which was handed down this week. The Premier's office is looking for a scalp quickly ahead of a class action being conducted by Peter Humphries. The class action papers were originally seeking $20 million in damages but this has now been increased to $230 million (over 5 times the CFS's annual budget). Back room negotiations have been pushed by Foley who is clearly very worried over the effect this will have as the government is its own insurer. The number of people on Eyre Peninsula (9 dead, 40,000 head of cattle and sheep, over 100 homes and nearly 1 million Ha burnt out) wanting to get onto the class action after the Coroner's findings were delivered has skyrocketed and there is every indication that other legal action against the CFS/government will happen. The Premier's office is looking for something to pacify people and it looks as if Ferguson's head will be the thing they hope does that. (To be fair, after reading the report, he's lucky if he just gets away with resignation).