British banks: doing their worst for us |  The Guardian

160807 RBS Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland suffered a £2bn half-year loss [Image: Hannah Mckay/EPA].


Many people are putting their money under the mattress again, This Writer is told.

If it was good enough for George Formby…

For years now, [banks have] been battling to disgrace themselves in increasingly outrageous ways, while also pioneering more and more creative ways in which to further irk their shareholders.

We saw it again last week, when Royal Bank of Scotland slumped to a £2bn half-year loss and HSBC reported a 29% fall in first-half profits to $9.7bn – both of which came with a string of legal and regulatory warnings.

But this week, prepare for the focus to switch – when we’ll ask whether these institutions have been striving so hard to win in the humiliation stakes that they’ve forgotten to compete for the benefit of their customers.

The Competition and Markets Authority has been investigating the supply of personal current accounts and of banking services to small- and medium-sized enterprises – and on Tuesday it will publish a summary of its final report.

The CMA has shown only slightly more appetite for addressing these questions than the bankers – having previously stated that banks must cap overdraft charges, while still allowing them to decide where to set the cap. Cynics have suggested that there may be a slight flaw in that plan.

Source: British banks: doing their worst for us | Business | The Guardian

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7 thoughts on “British banks: doing their worst for us |  The Guardian

  1. Dez

    would be good to nationalise a bank for the people. If mutual Nationwide can run a basic home user product with no shareholders, just greedy directors, then the Government just as well run one of their loser bank investments for the total benefit of the real people that make this country tick.

  2. Dave Rowlands

    I get charged £10.00 a month to deposit a “Foreign Currency” cheque, and depending on the value of the £, the value of the cheque varies but the bank still takes the same amount out before it is deposited into my account. The bank has had 35 years of taking my money, that’s £4,200.00 in service charges. They are in business to make money but sadly not for the benefit of the regular customer.

  3. Karl Greenall

    The basic point about banking is that in a money-based society, the banks provide a basic utility, and they should be treated as such. Some time ago, somebody proposed that, as the banks go running for taxpayers’ support when things go wrong, their management should not be paid more than the top civil servants in Whitehall. I think that one gets my vote! The point is, banking is too important to be left to the market. We have seen the consequences of that view over recent years.

  4. Brian

    RBS is currently refusing applications to open current accounts. Given where these banks have been, and some still are, they don’t want new money, simply because it does not produce a surcharge. Just as shameful as they have ever been.

  5. katythenightowl

    My husband is one who would cheerfully hide his money under the mattress, rather than leave it in the bank to be mis-managed – that is, of course, if we ever actually had any money! Lol

    But, seriously, I just wish that Banks were Nationalised, or something to that end and, preferrably, with Managers at the head, who had no financial interests in any of the giant companies and businesses that seem to be able to tell the Banks what they should, or shouldn’t, be doing with the money placed there.

    The writer, Terry Pratchett, gives a great quote, ‘ “We put all our politicians in prison as soon as they’re elected. Don’t you?” “Why?” “It saves time.”
    ― Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent. . . . . .The same should be done to the Bankers!

    David Eddings went one step further with the idea, in one of his Sparhawk books, where the politicians are press-ganged, then their property and investments are taken from them, and invested into the country, so that, if they didn’t try hard enough to make things financially viable for everyone in their term of office, they would lose everything, too – I know it’ll never happen, but I’d love to see the faces of our present career politicians if it did! Lol

    But I’m also sure that it’s as frustrating to everyone else, as it is to us, that our tax money is being used to prop up banks that just squander what they’re given in huge bonuses, and investments in dodgy places, while we’re told, ‘oh dear, we need to use even more of your tax money, otherwise the bank might fail, and where would you be able to put your money then?’

    Let them fail – and put a National Bank in it’s place, that thinks of the customer first, rather than the multi-millionaires who seem to use banks like a desk drawer that they keep their loose change in!

    I know! I’m probably being extremely naive about this!

    But I’m also fed up of the government using our money to prop up their buddies, while we at the bottom end of the scale starve, or freeze, or have to use food banks, even while working, or are demonised for being too ill or disabled to work, and then end up committing suicide, while the super-rich guzzle their champers and oysters, or whatever the latest fad in food and drink is nowadays, which were paid for out of our hard-earned taxes!

  6. Jessie

    Hence the banks and the corporacracy pushing the concept of the cashless society, and how it’s so much more wonderfully convenient for us, and will cut down on crime and make us so much safer; until they control every aspect of your life and have all of your money, and you’re paying negative interest for them to make profits on your every transaction, while they can withold your economic rights whenever they chose, or just keeping that threat held over you.

    We’ve known for sure since 2008 who are the real crooks and that the power of the banksters is far too great, along with how rotten is a government that not only allows it to continue but encourages its misuse, proclaiming the City to the world as the place to do megabusiness, with all of its shadowy financings. As it makes those of their part of society even more wealthy, to our cost.

    The inventions of higher finance, which is all figures in the air anyway, destroy lives and keep parts of society and even whole countries impoverished and perpetually in toil and fearfulness. It kills far more people than wars.

    We need a leader who will tackle the banks head on, and remind them they are meant to be a community service; and that’s never going to be someone who was fine with working for a predatory drug company, that just as much wasn’t acting in service to their users, but only for making big profits from the vulnerable.

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