A pig is a touchy issue for some of the clients: Jews and Muslims consider it unclean. The bank wrote in an internal document that Knorbert "doesn't fulfill the requirements that the multicultural society places on us any more."This has led to some raised eyebrows in the Netherlands, De Telegraaf speaking of Knorbert being 'ritually slaughtered' by Fortis.
But they would have us believe this is not the case. In the Times a spokewoman tells us:
that Knorbert had reached the natural end of his product life cycle. “The piglet was indeed being given to children opening a savings account but we ran out of stock, although some branches still had some,” she said. “Now we are looking for something else.”The Times goes on saying that
Ms Tackaert said that the bank was in tune with the openness and welcoming nature of Dutch society. She repudiated the statement that multiculturalism meant that Knorbert's luck had run out.
“Of course we want to reach a wide audience of customers and what the kids like is important — they are changing very quickly in terms of taste,” she said. “We will be looking for a new product that will fit the wider target audience.”
the Muslim population of the Netherlands is put at about one million, or 6 per cent of the total of 16 millionOn the part of the Fortis spokeswoman, that is as smooth a spin as I ever saw. But one glaring flaw in that reasoning does spring to mind: If the reason for discontinuing a gift of a piggy-bank, that has been the traditional gift to children that open their first account for generations, is some complaints from certain... eerrm... dedicated?... quarters (which may or may not be of the fanatical islamic persuasion), doesn't that carry the risk of alienating other potential clients such that the 'target audience' is reduced to just the 6 percent cited by the Times? I for one would be looking for a bank where my kids would be rewarded with a real, pocket-money saving piggy-bank, and specifically not a bank that denies Dutch tradition for fear of offending the easily offended.