Breaking the Bank

Breaking the BankAuthor: Alan Reynolds
ISBN 978-1-906377-62-5

“The culture within parts of British banking has increasingly been one of risk-taking leading to the meltdown that we have witnessed”
The House of Commons Treasury Committee, 7th Report of the session 2008-2009

– 21st April 2009

In a cracking novel, Alan Reynolds has blown the lid off the culture and practices in British Banking that led to the financial crisis of 2008.

The story is set in a fictional Bank in 1997 and follows the exploits of Martin Brazier the manager of a branch in the North of England. We learn at first hand about the pressures exerted by the bullying Regional Director and his relentless drive to achieve targets. The rewards for success are lavish with bonuses and incentive trips; the punishment for failure, humiliation and shame. The resulting behaviours – hedonism, greed and dishonesty are played out in a fast moving thriller which will have readers on the edge of their seats as the story unfolds.

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What others say…

..recommended…Having worked in the banking system I can relate to the background culture that was prevalent in 1990s / 2000s, and in other sectors, and I feel I have met the characters. The storyline takes us through an roller coaster of emotions, excitement and despair, hedonistic fun and shattering sadness.
– Richard King

A riveting read…
Alan’s writing is very engaging and keeps you enthralled from start to finish. An interesting reflection on the way that cracks began to show in the banking system and an excellent plot to follow too. Would definitely recommend for anyone with a curiosity about the inner workings of branch banking.

Sally Turgoose

…the best read I have had the pleasure of finding for a long time…
This being the first book I have read by the author, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What the book actually gave was the best read I have had the pleasure of finding for a long time. This book delivered a brilliant style of writing that led the reader through the story as if they were there and involved. The research carried out for this book is evident from start to finish. From the facts concerning the war right to the local lingo and mannerisms of the estate involved. It is a definite can’t put down read that keeps the reader captivated to the very end. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

– Mel

Absolutely brilliant book…
I used to work in a Bank, with Alan Reynolds, and it is very true to life. Really good read. Highly recommended.

– Carol Wilkinson

For those that didn’t work in the industry, prepare to be shocked…
A great read taking you behind the banking counter of the late 90’s. Whether fiction or fact for those that worked in banking during the period much of this book will ring bells in abundance.


I couldn’t put the book down… “Larger than life” characters are portrayed set in a ruthless and stressful environment; but are there elements of truth here? One is left wondering, particularly in the light of the recent banking crisis and recession! This book would lead to an interesting discussion in any book club.

Hard to put down…
Another very easy and entertaining read from Alan Reynolds. His career in banking has given him the inside information to expose the many personal and organisational faults that destroyed the respect for Banks that had been built up over hundreds of years. His characters are plausible and entertaining and he cleverly runs several threads together whilst touching all the emotions.

– Colin Grant

A great read for summer…
Power, corruption and infidelities unfurl in this easy to read story about the tough world of sales and greed in the banking industry. If you’ve ever been involved in stretch targets, then you will understand the pressures put on the characters and the lengths they will go to in order to achieve them! Powerful, sexy, surprising and sometimes quite sad.

– Jaynee 

It’s about dodge bank dealings, deceit, villains and robbery…
Just finished reading Alan Reynolds new book `Breaking the Bank’, it’s about dodge bank dealings, deceit, villains and robbery as with his last two books he hasn’t disappointed. It’s a fast moving book with twists and turns, laughs and sadness, not knowing in which direction the story will go keeps you on the edge of your seat, there’s three of four different threads of the story running alongside each other but easy to follow as good description of the characters and events are given. Brilliant book would definitely recommend especially for holiday.

– John Knight

Brilliant and insightful…
It would probably have been less risky to have taken our money to the casino than to the bank. Brilliant and insightful into just what was going on from the government downwards. No wonder we finished up in the mess we did.

– John Leach

This book is one I could not put down…
As the title suggests, the storyline is set within a banking background. By the time I had finished, the reason the banks hit a crisis sending us into economic free fall became much clearer!

– Kate Goddard