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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 - 16/05/2011 : 05:33
Catty, where do you think the Prophet got the idea that usury was a bad thing? Remember that it's an Abramic religion.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 16/05/2011 : 10:10
I thought the Prophet was running a "not for profit" organisation.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/07/2011 : 07:48
One piece of good news. It was announced last night that the banks have abandoned the attempt to abolish cheques by 2018. They say they have examined all the alternatives and accepted that the personal cheque is still the best available mechanism for transferring funds in many small transactions. Yippee! Common sense seems to have prevailed, a rare thing these days.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 23/07/2011 : 11:36
Not 100% good news, unfortunately. Although the banks say they have stopped all work to end cheques they have already ended the cheque guarantee card and will not bring it back. Some charities and consumer groups have expressed concern because the cards were still very useful to some people. Also, the original announcement by the banks that they were killing off cheques led many retail chains to stop accepting them and it looks like they won't reverse their decisions.

Something else to watch out for in your dealings with banks. It now emerges they have been "forging" their archived copies of customers' credit agreements. This was revealed by a man who asked his bank to provide him with a copy of the original agreement for this Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). These agreements are very important for all those many people who are now claiming compensation because they were wrongly sold PPI. This man was self-employed and would therefore never have been able to claim on the policy he was sold by Lloyds TSB. But he knew that (at home) he had filled out `occupation' as `self-employed' on his credit agreement form. When he received a copy from the bank recently this was crossed out and there were many errors on the form such as in his name and address. Yet it had his signature on it.

He accused the bank of `forging' this copy of the agreement but it turns out they are allowed to do this under banking law! They don't have to keep the original agreement, they are allowed to keep a copy of the details only. The law was changed to allow the banks this let-out because they often hadn't kept originals or even photocopies or scans of credit agreements and they were faced with a tidal wave of claims from PPI customers. Before the change, lawyers were able to force the banks to provide compensation by default if the bank could not produce the original agreement. Yet another incredible story from your friendly banks and banking regulators!


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 23/07/2011 : 13:35
I suspect most of the retailers dropped cheques for cost reasons (the banks decision was an excuse IMO), for large businesses card costs are much lower than cheques.  The lack of cheque guarantee cards won't be a problem in most instances where cheques are still used. Small businesses will often know where the cheque writer lives which is . Payments to friends/relatives/small charities/etc  for minor tranactions are a non issue. Most small retailers have never accepted (or at least been keen to accept) cheques, so that isn't much of a problem.  Many trademen don't like cheques because it leaves a paper trail for the taxman to follow (cynical, me ?, nahhh) so no change there. 

Keeping cheques is a good thing, but I won't mourn the death of the cheque guarantee card. 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/07/2011 : 16:47
Agreed Plugs, The places where I use cheques never ask for a guarantee anyway because they know me. Paid over £60 to Brian Birro only yesterday for boot repairing. No problem.

Tiz, I didn't know that and it's a disgarace. When I was working for Rochdale Welding Paul and I went to a site in Cheshire to repair the boiler. Totally anonymous looking big storage shed. Turned out it was the repository where the banks kept cheques and other documents for the statutory minimum time. I suppose when they reached their sell-by date they destroyed them.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 24/07/2011 : 12:42
When it suits them the banks do store documents. We all think that when we receive a cheque and it is cleared we are OK, the money is ours. Not so. Banks can grab the money back at a later date if something proves to be false in the payment chain.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/07/2011 : 05:50
It was a big shed Tiz and I think most of the documents were cleared cheques. I can remember the time when at the end of the financial year the banks sent all your cleared cheques back to you for your records, my dad used to get his from Lloyds. I think they stopped that in the late 1940s.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 25/07/2011 : 10:02
I got my cleared cheques back from Bank of Scotland until the late eighties.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/07/2011 : 05:51
Trust the Scots to keep to the old fashioned proven ways.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 31/08/2011 : 05:40
That terrible woman Angela King got up my nose again yesterday! (Chair of the banker's trade association). She came up with the remarkable assertion that to restructure the banks while they are in such a parlous condition is a bad idea, they should be left alone until they have recovered. Bit like not giving a terminally ill patient any treatment until they are stronger!  This woman is completely blinkered and has never admitted that the banks bear any responsibility for the mess we are in. It would appear that the cosy relationship between the politicians and the financial industry is alive and well. Have you read the accounts of the numbers of 'advisers' in Downing Street on secondment from the City? See Private Eye for more on this. The big accountancy firms have a firm foothold in the seats of power. Remember the revelations about the number of Goldman Sachs ex-employees in the US Treasury department in 2008? On e Senator described what happened there as a 'financial coup d'etat', are we getting near that here?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 31/08/2011 : 14:29
According to reports, the financial sector has shed over 60,000 jobs this year.

Some from our own banks, but mostly overseas operations repatriating people and downsizing operations here in the UK.

That is a lot of lost tax revenue


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 31/08/2011 : 16:52
Angela Knight, Stanley, we've had cause to discuss her a number of times on here. She's a great believer in the theory that the Credit Crunch was all down to nasty people in America and that British banks had nowt to do with it. The 60,000 jobs, Tardis, probably all arose on the great bubble that the banks inflated over the last 10 to 20 years based on flogging credit to anyone and everyone, whether they were likely to repay or not.

Back to the usual bank business - scams. Barclays is currently getting a lot of flak for arrogantly ignoring FSA rules and refusing to pay back money to customers which has been removed without their permission or knowledge, most likely (and definitely in some cases) by fraudster bank staff. We are talking sums of many thousands of pounds. One example is £16,000. It's all down to the banks' (incorrect) claim that `chip & pin' is infallible when there is lost of good evidence (studies at Cambridge University) that it isn't. They fall back on accusing customers of having released their PIN to someone else, even though FSA rules state that this cannot be used as an excuse for not re-paying money lost from accounts. So yes, 'financial coup d'etat' is probably on the horizon.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 01/09/2011 : 05:23
I heard the R4 programme on the disputes over chip amd pin and I do believe that I observed a long time ago that there were signs the banks were manufacturing an excuse to refuse refunds when they changed the rules over PIN numbers. Total arrogance and disregard of customers.

Knight days that but if she believes it she is too stupid to in the job, if she knows the truth she is wicked. (See Aneurin Bevan on Eden during Suez Crisis). It's evident now that this was the first shot in an organised campaign to fend of the cuts before the committee reports. It's become political now. These people are in charge of the government.......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 14/09/2011 : 09:23
Another day, another kick in the teeth for bank customers. They have a new trick. Watch out if you have any money in savings bonds - when the bond matures they've started locking you into another bond, sometimes at very low interest, and not letting you take the money out. Many people have moved their savings into 1, 2 or 3 year bonds in order to get higher interest rates. When the bond comes to the end of its period, instead of sending you a cheque or asking you what you want done with the money they now just shove it into some other account with almost zero interest and hope you'll forget about it. Even worse, they put it in another bond (again with low interest) and make it difficult for you to access the money. There are reports of people who desperately need the cash but, because they didn't move fast enough when the bond matured, they are now unable to retrieve it for another 3 years.


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