Banks and building societies should implement bespoke excuse generating machines. This was the idea of one reader who was told by his erstwhile mortgage lender that the reason there was a hold up in his application was due to a backlog of applications. Mortgage sales are at their lowest since records began. Why not have software that links to various news websites and comes up with excuses which at least sound genuine? At least it makes a change from “we have a problem with the computer”.