I have been away for a few days so have had more time to peruse the press as well as confirming I will never be able to finish a crossword. I have read a number of stories - involving the banking world - where the outcome is usually to the detriment of us.
In the 1990s and the early years of the new century the banks began to offer a Will service, very low in price but where the small print gave permission for the bank to help itself to around 2.5% of the value of the deceased’s estate. So £2,500 for every £100,000 and straight from the children’s inheritance - possibly after death taxes of 40%.
Then came the news that the Governments bank - National Savings - was cutting - nay slashing its investment limit from £1m to £10,000. Poor savers screwed again.
TSB, having already spent £126m on an IT system which is believed not totally robust, must pay £110m each year to the digital arm Sabin of its Spanish parent owners. Isn’t this the same IT system which locked out almost 2m of its customers...?
I also read about the Halifax opening a multi million pound branch in London with a cafe, party zone and computer games. Could this money not been used to maintain some of its rural branches?
However the prize today goes to Santander - the Mail reported that their fraud department sprang into action when a customer was scammed out of £20,000. The gentleman concerned was under going some particularly painful medical treatment and was hopeful of some good news. He received a letter on May 30 from the fraud team to tell him that they had managed to recover £5.14. I suppose he must now decide on whether to push the boat out and have a scone or muffin with his coffee.
Despite all of this we continue to support the banks - but is it because we don’t believe there’s an alternative? How would you feel if you knew there WAS an alternative which was free to run, 100% secure and which you could use to manage all your finances. Surely you would want to know more?