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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted -  25/06/2010  :  09:59
I just love banks, don't you? They go out of their way to make life exciting and to make sure we are always wondering if our account will have been emptied by tomorrow morning. They spend a fortune launching `Chip & Pin' and trying to convince us that it is infallible and that any fraud on our card in future will be due to our failings, not theirs. They do us great favours like deciding, unilaterally, to get rid of cheques. They are so good to us I thought we should reward them with a thread devoted to their marvellous escapades. Let me start with this offering but please add your own experiences and comments...

We have received a letter from Santander (Abbey Nat to you and me) beginning "We are deligted to inform you..." which always sets alarm bells ringing, and ends "As Santander we will continue to offer innovative, great value products and are committed to delivering excellent service to our customers" which sets the sirens blaring.  What they are delighted to inform me is that they have upgraded (without consulting me) my Cheque Guarantee Card to a Visa Debit Card. But I don't want a Visa debit card, I don't need another card, it's just another thing to get stolen, lost or defrauded.

But there's a sting in the tail. They then tell me to destroy my cheque guarantee card by cutting it in half. OK, I think, the new card will be used for this instead. But no, lower down in the letter it says the new card cannot be used to guarantee cheques. I know that cheques are set to be phased out (unilaterally once again, by June 2011) but it looks like the banks have devised a great scam to deprive us of cheque guarantee cards so they can say that cheques are not much use. I use cheques a lot and I would prefer that they were not phased out, but then, hey, the banks are not there just for you and me, are they?

I notice that although the letter tells me to destroy the cheque card, nowhere does it say that I cannot continue to use it. So I'm going to use it for as long as possible. I advise everyone to do the same. The banks are just hoping we will all fall in line with their demands and destroy the cards immediately.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 02/03/2011 : 04:34
Take over-complication and add basic incompetence and you get an attractive explanation as to why so many decisions in all areas of modern life go wrong. I've always said that doing a job like running a large steam engine was good training for getting it right. If you didn't retribution was swift, you were tried, judged and in same cases executed instantaneously. Think of a bomb-disposal person. Perhaps the answer lies in there somewhere, proper supervision, effective sanctions and an underlying desire to best serve the customer. In a word, competence.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 02/03/2011 : 10:28
It's worse than that Stanley, there wasn't even any complication involved in this. If you look back at my post (end of previous page) I've added a copy of the cut-out from The Times with the answers. These few very simple facts were not known by 101 out of 104 bank staff (97%) who were supposed to be selling ISAs. The mind boggles, as they say!


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2011 : 05:45
As you say, looks fairly simple. Question is whether the attention span is good enought to even remember to look at the list. The cheque I sent to Conor has been bounced by the bank because I put Connor instead of Conor Farr. Even though it was presnted by the account-holder! Ah well, I'll just have to send another.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 03/03/2011 : 07:53
I purchased a copy of a will and I made the cheque payable to HMRC instead of HMCS it still got cashed, and I got the will.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/03/2011 : 08:16
I hear Mervyn King talking sense again and it's getting quite hard-edged. There is reason to believe that when the BofE takes over bank regulation from the FSA there could be some quite interesting sanctions. I hope so. Noticeable that George Osborne is not contributing to this debate, he thinks that the bank issue has gone away. Think again young man, it's a time bomb ticking in the basement.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 05/03/2011 : 10:24
They are quite tolerant of the payee written on cheques.  I presented one yesterday made out to SSTR instead of STSR, the cashier gave a cheery 'Thats OK' and its in my account this morning.


Need computer work ?
"http://www.stsr.co.uk"

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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 05/03/2011 : 12:09
Mervyn King's interview is reported here on the Telegraph web site.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 06/03/2011 : 06:30
Unfortunately I happened to hear the egregious Angela Knight, CEO of the British Bankers Association, at dinnertime 'defending' the bankers. Evidently we poor underlings have got it all wrong. The banks are acting resposibly in the best interests of the country! I wonder how long it will take the banks to realise that this PR spin is damaging them because it is so obviously self-serving and doesn't address the core problems? I get the same feeling every time I hear the tired excuse that it was all the last government's fault. I forecast this before the election campaign and it's about time that realities were faced, all governments since 1960 are culpable. Mervyn King knows this and he is telling the truth, that's why he is being attacked. He must think he's on firm ground, I have an idea that the new regulatory policies are being written as he speaks and the bankers know this. Roll on the day!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 06/03/2011 : 11:32
On the BH programme this morning they talked to a banker who became an FSA regulator and a man who did the opposite. Very depressing. The bankers control the regulator rather than vice versa. The banks can afford to simply `poach' every good person from the regulator and leave the rest. So they watch for anyone who is clever and likely to make trouble for them, offer him/her a lot more dosh and draw them away. Not only do they strangle the regulator but they get people who know all the plans and inside details of what's going on in the FSA office.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 07/03/2011 : 05:38
I'm afraid that Private Eye were right when they christened the FSA the 'Financially Supine Authority'. One problem seems to be that so many of the regulators are ex-banking men with bad records in casino banking. How strong are the links back to the bankers.  HMRC and off-shore regulation are just as bad. Everyone promises something will be done but what are the results? See PE and Vodaphone case. A scandal.

I note that HSBC are making noises about leaving London and setting their HQ up in the East. I forecast they will do no such thing. This is pressure against tougher regulation and should be resisted. Question is have we enough bottle to do so?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 08/03/2011 : 04:55
I hear that nice man Bob Diamond got £9million last year. I was falling asleep when the news item was on but I thought I heard them say that two execs further down the food chain got more, did I hear £14million?

It's a very strange world. Must read Harold Perkin's book  'The origins of Modern English Society' again. His basic thesis was that one the elite have erected a power structure based on wealth they can't stop nouveau riche entering the upper ecchelons because to bar wealth as a qualification damages their own position. So the quakification for 'aristocracy was first property, ownership of land, then wealth goined in manufacturing industry and now it looks like financial chicanery. (In France the aristos banned trade and that was why they died out) We have very strange qualifications for entering the elite these days....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 13/03/2011 : 10:49
I had a good experience with my HSBC business account.  It has been pretty inactive since last May when my plans changed and I haven't been using it.  But, I was summonsed to see my Business Account advisor (and she is a really lovely and helpful lady) last week.  After an overhaul of the branch, I was shown into an office instead of the "everyone can hear" work station.  It was almost like visiting the bank manager again Laughing

We went through my future plans which are basically to change from business to sole trader.  She immediately cancelled the credit card because in a couple of weeks, I would have been subject to an annual charge.  She made a couple of helpful suggestions and we discussed the dog.

And, they will keep my business - I will open a sole trader account with HSBC based on this experience.  I came away feeling as though they weren't totally out to get me.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/03/2011 : 03:30
Nice to hear banking is surviving albeit in small pockets.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 16/03/2011 : 09:12
Our experience is not so good. Yesterday we received an email from Northern Rock saying that the account in which we have our savings is having its interest rate reduced from 1.6% to 0.5%, in other words we would get only a third of what we have been receiving. No reason is given and if we want to move our money to a new account we will have to apply all over again. That's how much the bank values its customers, a bank owned by the public too.


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 16/03/2011 : 09:38
Tizer, Just a thought - Martin's Money Tips might have something to say about this Wink


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