This morning, I read the Daily Telegraph for the first time in ages. I’d spent the previous evening away from home at a late birthday / graduation treat, courtesy of my wife. Incidentally, if anyone fancies a gastronomic evening away from it all in the heart of Derbyshire, you could do much, much worse than Fischer’s Baslow Hall. I can’t speak highly enough of the hotel, the staff and the dining experience in the restaurant – and no, this isn’t a sponsored post!
Anyway, back to the Daily Telegraph. On pages 32-33 there is an advertisement for Citi, who claim to be the world’s first global bank. It’s tied in to a Diamond Jubilee Quiz, covering notable events during the reign of Elizabeth II. I have no way of judging Citi’s claim about being the world’s first global bank – I’m not even sure what the claim means – but I do have a way of checking the claims made in their advertisement and working out how late Citi have been to the party over the last 60 years.
The first claim which initially struck me as odd was: “1977 – Citi pioneers the ATM”. A quick check reveals that both the BBC and FT credit Barclays, in 1967, as the pioneers of the ATM. (There’s also a unsubstantiated claim on Wikipedia that the first ATM appeared in a US shopping centre in 1959). So Citi were at least a decade late to that particular party.
So what about some of Citi’s other claims?
“1958 – Citi backs the commercial jetliner” – While the precise words used may make this a true statement, the first commercial jet airliner took to the skies in May 1952, according to the US Centennial of Flight Commission. Citi were therefore a minimum of 6 years late, as development work would have been underway some years before the first commercial flight.
“1995 – Citi helps fund the space shuttle program (sic)” – Again, this may be true, but NASA notes that the first space shuttle was launched on April 12th 1981 (with the programme having started many years before first launch). I think we can safely suggest that Citi were 20 or more years late to the party this time!
My birthday celebrations were a little late this year. But at least I wasn’t as late as Citi appear to be at getting to a party …