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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 - 18/02/2011 : 05:11
Lords of the Universe Tiz. When do we see some regulatory teeth?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 18/02/2011 : 08:17
What bothers me a bit here is we all refer to  the "Banks" when I think in  a lot of cases, it is the person who works for the Bank who is at fault.



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


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/02/2011 : 06:05
Barclays paid 2.4% of pre-tax profit in corporation tax. The gross rate is supposed to be 28%. Way to go!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 19/02/2011 : 13:45
Barclays is a worldwide concern, its a bit unreasonable to assume they generated all their profit in this country. 


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 19/02/2011 : 14:37
But Pluggy we keep being told that we should let the banks have their fun because they generate so much tax for the UK.


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 19/02/2011 : 14:50
They DO but not in Corporation Tax !!!



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 19/02/2011 : 16:56
Dozy old Maggie declared that we do not need a "manufacturing" economy and we should concentrate on developing a "service" economy. (Of course Dennis had nothing to do with it.)  (Jusy how any service based community can possibly work is quite beyond me)

The service industry which she seemed to prefer was the banking industry (well she might have been influenced by some of her advisers!). This must suit the politicians nicely because ever since Maggie's declaration the banks have had more or less unfettered freedom to plunder the population at will.

Edited by - catgate on 19/02/2011 4:58:23 PM


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/02/2011 : 04:37
I can remember the days when we were told how good 'invisible exports' were good for us. Barclays are one of the modern experts in invisible exports, they do it with the profit, making sure it's generated in the most beneficial tax environment. Look up Dewhurst's and the Vasey(name?)  family. See Private Eye for a description of the 'tax efficient' way Tony Blair is managing his money. A tax expert commented "Bizarre".


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 20/02/2011 : 07:43
I wonder what we could Manufacture to sell to the Indians or the Chinese ??  With our Labour Rates and with the Fact they have caught up with our Technology.
I do believe we would struggle !!!! that's why our Manufacturing went down hill, nowt to do with Maggie.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 20/02/2011 : 11:25
We are told the West must make the most of its' `knowledge workers' now that the East can do all the manufacturing cheaply and with quality. The trouble is the East is now producing more knowledge workers than we do - and increasing fast. And meanwhile the overall quality of our knowledge workers is declining and we still have relatively high levels of illiteracy and inumeracy innumeracy. Banking will soon shift to the East too for cheaper staff. Time to put the thinking cap on!


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 20/02/2011 : 13:29
Looks like it could be time to call time on the Teachers or some of them !!!
Our son went to Aberdeen and then he went to the London Buisness School. He couldn't believe the difference in the Higher Quality of Lecture and Lecturers at the LBS.
 If we keep on dumbing down our Universities we will fall farther behind the rest of the world, time to recognise you have to pay a resonable fee to obtain a resonable education.
The socialists will argue differently, but you only need to listen to Ed Milliband when he berates our Top Universities for increasing fees, he still can't see we will fall farther behind with one size fits all.

Edited by - frankwilk on 20/02/2011 1:32:55 PM



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


36804 Posts
Posted - 21/02/2011 : 05:18
The big chance to re-organise british industry was immediately after WW1, we had learned the benefits of central control and planning during the war effort. Lloyd George kept the reformers (mostly the union leaders) talking until the momentum for change had been lost and in effect put everything back to where it had been before the war. This perpetuated the worst aspects of private ownership and gave us a legacy of fragmented inefficient plants that could only be run at a profit by screwing down on wages, increasing hours, avoiding spending on working conditions and innovation. At the same time the government went back to pre-war exchange rates. The result was an outdated economy and industrial infrastructure at the time when industry all over the world was developing and using new technologies. This was exacerbated by the fact that they also had a hostile workforce and who can blame them? A great opportunity to limit the effects of global competition had been lost for political reasons. The mistake the Thatcher government made was to perpetuate this archaic monetary system and bet on the service industries to bale us out. We are suffering from this now as we have to pay for imports of basic commodities and are at the mercy of rising prices as sections of the global economy increase demand and consequently prices rise. If you had wanted a blueprint for economic disaster you would have been hard put to to invent a better one.

Ask the library (if it is still open!) to get you a book on inter-library loan. 'National Income, Expenditure  and Output of Great Britain. 1855-1965' by C H Feinstein. This is the bible for hard information on statistics and will never be replaced because it took 30 years to extract and collate the information from hard copy handwritten records. It's all in there if you take the trouble to seek it out. (You need the full edition, not the abstracts. I got my copy for $10 in NY in the 1980s, sold it during a time of penury and had to spend £125 to replace it. Worth every penny!)


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 21/02/2011 : 10:02
Stanley
 What the writers/planners of the time couldn't forsee was the rapid and relatively cheap improvement in transport. Look at the explosion in growth of the Aviation Industry and how easy it was for people to travel and open new plants abroad.
I believe that the greatest invention that no one really saw coming was the " Container " and the Container Ships to transport cheap goods from the Sub Continent & the Far East. I don't believe it was just a matter of better planning, the World changed so quickly after the war that it needed a complete rethink on what we could do, and how we could compete. No different to today !!!!!!
I do think we are in need of a Global Flu epidemic or something on that scale or the future is doomed for the next few generations.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 21/02/2011 : 15:32
There was an article recently about containers and their shipping in Saga Magazine, I think because it was a big anniversary (50 years?). It stressed Frank's point that containerisation completely changed world economics. In containers you can send `trainers' from China to Felixstowe at something like 5 pence a pair and send milions at a time.

Frank, you asked what can we make that we can sell to China and India. Scotch! Champagne! Fine wines! Designer handbags! But the catch is, they are all *brands*. In the West we now sell brands, not products, and it's all we've got left. I wonder what we do when the East starts to prefer its own brands?

Edited by - Tizer on 21/02/2011 15:33:10


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 21/02/2011 : 15:43
As China, India, Philippines etc become wealthier, their wages will catch with ours and we're back to more expensive goods and our stuff becomes competetive again.

Or so the theory goes, China deliberately skewing their excange rate to keep their goods cheap doesn't help.


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