"Enough of the bad press - we're going after the Nazi!" The outburst by a Northern Rock executive over the weekend was quickly clarified, retracted, reissued and reclarified but the startling truth is that, for one Northern Rock customer, things can only get worse.
Everyone's favourite former Hitler Youth member, Pope Benedict, has received a final demand from everyone's favourite former solvent bank, Northern Rock.
Two years ago, following a string of expensive claims against priests across the US and beyond, the head of finance at the Vatican, Paulo Futticini, remortgaged the entire Vatican with the soon-to-be doomed Northern Rock. Happily for the Pontiff, they got a good fixed rate. Unhappily, the claims kept coming.
The situation became so bad that the Church was unable to keep up repayments and even a call to Carol Vordeman to discuss consolidation could not save the world's largest religion after Starbucks.
Now, with the Bank of England and second-rate Chancellor Alistair Darling breathing heavily down their neck, Northern Rock have called in the loan and are ready to have the Vatican sold off if needs be.
Senior officials at the Bank told The Spoof that "this really is a 'Pope on the ropes' moment. He'll either have to pay up or get out. We just can't afford to keep bankrolling them".
Over at the Vatican, they are in no mood to give in. "Northern Rock needs all the help it can get at the moment and we've got God on our side. I don't want to threaten anyone but, if I were them, I'd not go out in a thunder storm".