24 SEPTEMBER 1988, Page 24

. . . The Black Horse

T. S. ELIOT and the Tote make a long- priced double, but Lloyds has pulled it off. To Lloyds Merchant Bank has gone the commission to privatise the Tote — and I can at once suggest the perfect buyer. This is Lloyds Bank. The two go together like mustard and cress. Both are retail cash- handling businesses which have rightly seen their future as dependent on good systems — and how Lord Wyatt has transformed the Tote from the bad old days when it was like betting with the Post Office! Together they would form a huge high street network, with scope for rationa- lisation and selling each others' products. Bet with the Black Horse! Make the Tote your banker! Is your cash running low by the last race? Just show your Lloyds gold card or Access, or even debit your account. Indeed, why not the first race? The cash- less racecourse is around the corner. Lloyds and its rivals have for so long been developing cards which, presented at shop tills and put into the machinery, will charge the bill directly to the customer. My friend Captain Threadneedle is impressed, and has asked me to raise with Sir Jeremy his request for a revolving credit, supported by a self-liquidating transaction in the Cam- bridgeshire.