When I was working at Otago Daily Times, not long before the turn of the century, I went to a bank along the spine of the city, George St, near the Octagon.

I was apprehensively seeking my first home mortgage - 10 per cent of the GV of a property - and thought I would proudly go to a money lending institution that my father and forefathers had dealt with when it was known as Bank of New South Wales.

But, on discussing the interest rates with my then colleagues, it had dawned on me that loyalty counted for nothing and the bank was on the verge of serving me a fiscal life sentence.

In a huff I went back to the bank the next day. To cut a long story short, I had to raise my voice before demanding the staff over the counter refund close to $500 in fees I had paid for overnight's work (no one could tell me what that constituted in a brown folder with a few papers I had signed). I then seditiously stormed across the road to offer my custom to a humble Trust Bank Otago.


A year or so later it totally destroyed my soul to find out Trust Bank Otago was shutting shop because the ogre of an institution across the road had simply swallowed it up.

Objectionably, the bully bank had got back into a position of controlling my life again.

The moral of the story is banks are no angels, as I again discovered only last month when I received a statement on my internet account outlining fees I never knew existed, let alone oblivious to the fact that I was paying for through automatic deductions.

I called an 0800 number and threatened to visit the Hastings branch to sort the matter out. Life's other pressing demands have scuttled that mission so far.

But I digress.

As much as I loath the very ideology of capitalism, I find myself juxtaposing the lesser of two evils when I hear about Sonny Bill Williams grabbing the national sport by the scruff of its neck and giving it a good shake.

You've got to give it to the man. Somehow he always manages to make anything he is involved with about himself. His first cameo Super Rugby appearance for the Blues in Dunedin was no different last round.

It's not the first time SBW has hijacked an event and it won't be the last.

The plausible perception is his religious conscience prompted him to tape the collar of his jersey to hide a banking sponsorship.

The 2008 Islam convert's boycott, at face value, is commendable because, according to the teachings of the holy scriptures of Koran, lending money is haram (forbidden) if the lender benefits from riba (interest).

Consequently Muslims have established special facilities to enable them to borrow money without the bank earning interest from it.

The irony is SBW has, unwittingly, drawn immense "interest" in a bank that, understandably, isn't bothered whether he sports their logo or not.

I don't know about you but I didn't even notice the collar before that, anymore than what's on the sleeves or the chest, because my association with a team stems from recognising their primary tribal colours.

The spin-off, to sponsors' delight, is that now I'm trying to figure out what every team is sporting on different parts of their garment.

You see, for SBW, no doubt aspiring to be a devout Muslim, his stance opens him to scrutiny to myriad perceptions of what is permissible in the context of strict Islamic laws.

The "conscientious objection clause", which remarkably has been enshrined in the New Zealand Rugby contracts, must offer the likes of SBW an escape route from engaging in promotional material involving alcohol, tobacco and gambling interests.

It's intriguing that SBW has anything to do with Super Rugby whose naming sponsors, Investec, is an international specialist banking and asset management group and its roots can be traced to South Africa - never mind playing at the Cake Tin (Westpac Stadium) against the Hurricanes.

When Team SBW cranked up propaganda about Rio Olympics in sevens rugby, he had to prove his worth in the HSBC-sponsored IRB series last year. HSBC is a British multi-national banking corporation.

So where does he stand with nib Stadium (nib is a global financier that profits), the home of Western Force in Perth?

Ditto Suncorp Stadium (a banking and insurance giant) in Brisbane.

Okay let's shift tack here. How does SBW feel about running out at Forsyth Barr Stadium in the 54th minute as a substitute with young women holding up a banner stating "Marry me SBW" with red hearts?

The women are fine, it seems, because Allah (god) permits a bloke to marry up to four and divorce a wife by simply stating "talaq, talah, talaq [I divorce you]" three times.

What also must go against the grain of Islam is thousands of bucket-wearing, thunder stick-slapping fans promoting finger-licking chooks.

Meat and poultry of any description must be halal (killed by hand before an imam [Islamic clergy]) and, despite the fast-food giant's claim its chicken is kosher, Islam denounces the consumption of such food.

All this controversy is a red herring (fish, by the way, is kosher) for someone who didn't do justice to the Rio campaign and will never be Muhammad Ali.

It detracts from the Blues' poor start to the season and SBW's shocking pass in front of the sticks in the 69th minute, which was the turning point to the Highlanders' 26-20 victory.