1. The value of shares can go up as well as down. Yes, even shares in basket cases like Lloyds TSB and the Royal Bank of Scotland!
2. No, really - it could well happen, if they keep stinging their dozy customers hard enough!
3. In the theoretically possible event of either or both of your free bank shares (worth 51p in the case of RBS, and a whopping 74p for Lloyds!) ever paying an annual dividend, you might conceivably be the lucky recipient of a windfall bonanza worth over one gleaming penny!
Nick’s top tip: if you put it in the name of a family member who is domiciled overseas – like my lovely wife, for example – you won’t even have to pay tax on your bounty!
4. Your share will empower you to take an active role in running your bank. Just obtain the signed agreement of six million other shareholders, and you can call an Emergency General Meeting of the bank and amuse the board of directors with your bright ideas about how to run a banking corporation!
5. And if all this heady Wall Street wheeler-dealing still doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, what could be simpler than selling your share for a cash lump sum to spend as you please? Just pay the broker’s fee (typically £20, but shop around and you could save a few pounds!) and reimburse the treasury for its investment in you, and you’re back to being one of the little people again!
[Editorial note: a stray colon appears to have slipped into this article’s headline. Whoops!]