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The party has just begun

“The party has just begun!”

That’s what you would have heard a man yell, if you were in Sveriges Kreditbanken on the morning of August 23 1973, just moments before he fired a sub-machine gun into the roof. Not an ideal start to your day and especially for the 4 bank employees taken hostage by Jan-Erik Olsson that day.

But that’s not the most interesting part of this story. What happened next has a current and relevant lesson for us all.

Anyway, back to my story (I’m going somewhere with this I promise)…

From within the bank vault where they were hiding, Olsson started doing some kind gestures for his captives. What a guy, am I right? I mean, despite the fact he had them hostage with a gun, on the first day of the siege he was doing things such as draping a wool jacket over one of them when she was cold, soothing them when they had a bad dream, letting them go for walks (with a 30 foot rope) when claustrophobic and even gave them a souvenir bullet from his gun.

By day 2 the hostages were now on a first name basis with Olsson and they started worrying more about the police than their captor. Some even wanted to go with the robbers in their escape car. One hostage was threatened to be shot in the leg and later remarked “How kind I thought that he was for saying it was just my leg he would shoot”.

When the siege ended after 4 days the hostages even voluntarily made sure to protect the robber on their way out so that no police would shoot him.

Having such empathy for your captors, this phenomenon is now referred to as “Stockholm Syndrome”. I find it quite ironic that this phenomenon began in a bank. A place synonymous with something (or someone) being safe and secure yet being held hostage by a bank robber is anything but. Yet within the confines of a bank even a bank robber can seem to be the good guy.

And here is my point…

Today I am seeing so many signs that our clients (and those yet to be) have either a) apathy towards their home loan rates or b) are loyal, happy and indifferent to being held hostage or c) both

So my questions to you are:

Do you know when you’re being robbed? Do you even care?


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