Banking sucks

I keep my bank accounts in the black – so why should I pay for those who incur overdraft charges?  But why should those who do get into trouble be expected to pay for my current account?  The disingenuous public relations messages from the banks show they are hoping to please the masses like me, with their argument that ‘Free’ banking could end as overdraft charges challenged.

Let’s get this message straight – I do not benefit now from “free” banking.  The banks make money from our money – in terms of the time they take to clear cheques, transfer money or pay bills, and by investing our money yet not paying decent interest rates when we are in credit.

There should be reasonable charges that reflect the actual cost of sending a letter and so forth.  But, banks have taken the savings made by increased computerisation and kept it.  They transfer call centres to the lowest cost base and push us more and more to online banking, whilst maintaining a punitive cost for overdrafts and other “services”.

At the same time, they make it harder to open a bank account, treating us not like honest citizens but all as potential money launderers, terrorists and international criminals. 

They show contempt to customers and staff. 

If I am to pay for my current account, banks should remember this is my money and when I want it transferred do it immediately.  With computerised systems it does not take 5 days to go from my account to another and vice versa.  I should not have to ay £25 for the privilege of transferring my money immediately.

In terms of professional communications, the banks are bullies who use any attempt to threaten, lobby and wriggle their way out of acting responsibly.  Once upon a time, banks and their employees were trusted and deemed to be honorable members of society.  That is no longer true – they have destroyed their reputation by money grubbing activities.

It is about time they practised honest communications and a bit of respect.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

8 thoughts on “Banking sucks”

  1. I reported my cash card gone last November after it got sucked into my ATM (I wasn’t overdrawn) and after two or three that went missing in the post on their way out to me, I got my new card in January.

    My bank paid me £50 for charges I’d incurred elsewhere as I usually pay by card and didn’t have it. I had to nail them to the wall practically to get my money, not a fortune but I got it!

  2. Jill – it is the attitude that is most annoying. I hate the fact they treat it like their money and we are a nuisance. They should provide a service and if they want to charge us, then be equitable and give back too. If there was a choice of a really great bank – which I think there is in the US, then maybe we could all support it. As it is, they all seem as bad as each other.

  3. Yes, I know what you mean

    I wonder how the new Islamic banking system that I think Lloyds implemented is doing. I learned that Muslims are not allowed to gain interest on money they have when I did an interview with Yvonne Ridley in Edinburgh once. Quite interesting really.

  4. Good question Jill – also there have been attempts at more social banking systems in some areas (especially the poorer ones where the “high street” banks have been reluctant to go). Then we have a few mutual building societies left and the Co-op as an “ethical bank”, which I’ve never explored to see if it is any different.

  5. I switched to the Co-operative years ago because I was concerned about how my money was invested (what little there was of it!). I didn’t expect it to be all that different from other banks apart from the ethical policy, but it has been great. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. Whenever I’ve had to contact the bank, their call centre staff have invariably been helpful and polite – completely different attitude to other High Street banks.

  6. Ceri – thanks for your endorsement. As you say, it is attitude that is a large part of the problem with banks, so if the Co-op are getting it right, then I’ll check them out.

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