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This is a question Banks

Your Ginger Fuhrer froths, "I hate my bank. Not because of debt or anything but because I hate being sold to - possibly pathologically so - and everytime I speak to them they try and sell me services. Gold cards, isas, insurance, you know the crap. It drives me insane. I ALREADY BANK WITH YOU. STOP IT. YOU MAKE ME FRIGHTED TO DO MY NORMAL BANKING. I'm angry even thinking about them."

So, tell us your banking stories of woe.

No doubt at least one of you has shagged in the vault, shat on a counter or thrown up in a cash machine. Or something

(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 13:15)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Irresponsible lending
A bit more than a year ago, when being in debt was fashionable, I got a call from someone at my bank that sounds like HSBT (edited on legal advice).

It was a girl. She said "Hi! I'm phoning to see if you would like a loan".
I said I didn't.

"Why not?"
"Well I've managed to pay off my credit cards and I would prefer not to get into debt again".
"Everyone has loans! I owe about £25k, it not a problem!"
"I'd really rather not"
"Well what are you up to at the weekend? You sound cool - wouldn't you like to be driving a new car..."
"No, really...."
"I tell you what, if you take the loan, I'll tell you where me and my friends are out tonight.."

wtf. Virtually offering sex for loans!! I had to hang up in the end. But in my imagination she was well fit :-(
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 17:52, 4 replies)
Debit Card *Warning Rant Ahead*
I opened a children's account with Nationwide when I was about 12, which I changed into a proper current account when I was 16. At 18 and I started my apprenticeship, I realised I would need a debit card for the job and maybe a cheque book (had to claim expenses back, no float issued).

Went into my new local branch as I had recently moved, and explained. The Nationwide lady told me I would need to set up a new current account to get a debit card.

All goes through, and I go back for another meeting and they say I can't have a debit card as I have 'insufficient credit rating'. I explain I have been a valued customer, only went overdrawn once, really need one for my new job etc. And still no.

So I leave with a new account and a cheque guarantee card for £100 (big fucking wow), and popped into Barclays.

5 minutes later, a new account is set up, and a debit card is on the way. I transfer my wages and set up everything to Barclays. Too bad Nationwide, I tried to be loyal and you didn't want to know.

And lo and behold 6 months later I get a letter from Nationwide offering me a chance to upgrade to my card to a debit card.

Well, fuck you. You didn't want to repay my loyalty and give me a debit card when I really needed one so you can stick it up your arse.

Sorry for lack or funny, but it really boils my blood, as I still keep getting these letters. Maybe I should ring them up and explain.

(Very happy with Barclays though ^_^)
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 17:45, 5 replies)
a squad of mad fannies
The Clydesdale Bank

I often wish someone would just parcel-bomb these grabastic little minges out of existence
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 17:41, Reply)
The story of coinage.
Not the bank, but the post office.

Long story short an account wasn't paid when agreed last Sunday leaving me this week entirely brassic. Monday saw my last fiver go on a pack of cheap ciggies, and a couple of beers, I knew Tuesday I would need to resolve the situation.

I counted and sorted my coppers! Bonza! About six quids worth - well that's a few beers and I'll go onto the patches.

Off I toddle to the post office to meet the face of doom that resides there - she hates me. Where I present my bags of coinage. Where she proceeds to tell me they don't accept change anymore!

Obviously this strict procedure isn't too adhered to as she still changed the money... Tawt.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 17:31, 2 replies)
I work
for a bank.

(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 17:31, 2 replies)
I transferred some money from Nationwide (helpful) to Natwest (cunts) by cheque the other day in order to be able to pay my car insurance. Next day, bosh. The money's there in my account. 'Wahey' thinks I. 'No more bus travel'. I called up the insurance company and after the usual "Who are you, where was your gerbil born, why does your aunt have six fingers on her left hand" fuss, came to make the payment.

My card was declined. This surprised me slightly as I was £350 in the black with a £1000+ overdraft and the bill was about £1200.

I called Natwest to ask them what had gone wrong.

"I'm sorry sir, the funds aren't available until Friday"

"But I can see them in my account"

"Oh yes sir, they'll show up but you can't actually spend them"


"They show up to indicate that the cheque has been cashed, so you don't think we've made a mistake"

"So you've processed my cheque... but you don't have the money"

"Yes sir"

"So why bother showing it in my account?"

"Well sir, we have to get the money from the other bank"

"Are you seriously telling me that you have to physically go and collect £1500 of my money from the bank 50 yards in that direction?"

"No sir. It's all done electronically"


(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 17:22, 3 replies)
banks are cunts.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 16:54, 1 reply)
My Dad, Twat Flat Top, and the Big Bag of Mulha
My dad’s your typical Italian fella – doesn’t trust anyone with his cash. When I was a kid he was sent, under pain of death from my mother, down to the local branch of Barclays with a Tesco carrier bag stuffed full of used notes; his life savings. Some snotty little oik in a shiny Mos Bros suit and a flat top haircut sat us down. Now, my dad’s a bit of a scruffy bloke. Think Lieutanant Columbo’s scruffier brother with an older, shabbier coat and you’re just about there. The twat behind the desk looked at us with utter contempt. Just a wop and his demon spawn.

Then my dad produced the carrier bag and plonked it down on the table with a loud THUD. I thought the twat was going to cum in his pants. Suddenly he was all sweetness and light, offered my old man a cup of coffee, offered me some sweeties. My dad just sat opposite him and scowled – he was a foundry man, hard as nails, and could smell a shister a mile off.

After a few minutes of this twat cooing and talking over what sort of account my dad wanted, it came time to sign the paperwork. My dad reached for the pen on the desk – one of those jobbies attached by a length of chain so no fucker could nick it. As my dad went to sign, he felt his arm jerk back, the chain was too short to sit comfortably in the chair and write anything, even an 'X' (which, thinking about my dad, may have been how he signs his signature). He was not happy. Not at all. He placed the pen down on the desk, reached for the bag of loot, stood up, and we went to leave. Twat flat top, seeing a bonus or the kudos of opening a new account with several grand in it (probably a rarity in Coventry in the recession of the eighties), chased after us: “What appears to be the matter, Mr Hanky?” He asked my dad.

Who stopped long enough to retort: “If you don’t trust me with a 10p biro why should I trust you with this?” And he waved the carrier bag infront of twat’s face like a great big, juicy, plump, lovely carrot.

Then we left. The look on twat flat top’s face was priceless – he looked like he’d just found out the woman he was shagging had herpes, used to be a man, and was – in point of fact – his long lost father.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 16:44, 7 replies)
I think it’s time for a good, old fashioned rant
I’m sat here at my desk reading the lunchtime news. It’s full of such delightful headlines as “Police report suggest residents would pay extra for additional policing” and “Energy bills to increase by at least 33% by 2020”, taxes are set to rise and the pound has plunged, meaning those lovely Shimano cranks I wanted to buy are now £150 dearer than they were six months ago. I’m also peeved that 50,000 eighteen year olds aren’t going to university this year because there aren’t any places for them.

What does this have to do with banks, I hear you all ask in exasperation?

The belming tit in charge of the country has given Britain’s banks a comedy sum of money to help them out because they’re all a tad strapped for cash. Ordinarily, it wouldn’t be news but the amount of money involved could easily fund Britain’s own Apollo project, solve the looming energy crisis (with £200bn to spare) or maybe even be used to pay for everyone’s retirement. Of course, the money comes from you and I, which means that, technically I am £2,500 pounds in debt to my grandchildren (subject to inflationary adjustment of course) because a man who does Prime Minister impressions has loaned against my future taxes to my bank (which in return I now own a small share of) to help it through its cashflow issues.

Are you all still with me? I hope so. Here’s how it all started.

“We’ve cured boom and bust” belmed someone who ought to know better, indeed the people of Britain would continue to borrow more to fund more expensive homes, even though the physical bricks and mortar hadn’t changed one iota. No big deal though, because we were guaranteed a future of low interest rates so we wouldn’t get our wallets fisted by 15% interest charges like we did in 1992. Ahem. The banks assured the Chancellor of this fact, who himself carried on double counting and creating a whole new way of measuring our financial health that simply ignores the bad news (2.5% inflation? Come on…).

The reason why my bank was suddenly and inexplicably skint was because for the last sixteen years its loaned vast sums of money out to people who have very little realistic hope of paying it back. Real estate has been used for collateral which has in turn hyped a marketplace into raising the value of a house against which a loan is taken out, making people borrow even more so that they can own their own home, which in turn requires a larger mortgage to fund. All good until the market goes Stuka-like and the value of the loan collateral halves overnight. It’s not a new phenomena, it’s been observed occurring at ten yearly intervals since 1929 but apparently its news to my bank.

Now, back to the belming tit running the country; writing a cheque out for £500 billion odd has cleaned him (and ergo, me) out a bit, quite a boast when you consider he’s spunked £50,000 per household in Britain since 1997. Fuck knows what on, I’d have spent about six grand on a small car, bought a nice plasma TV and a PS3 and probably left it at that. However, it seems that it’s all gone on moats, ducks, QUANGOs, NHS Efficiency Consultants and the brand new official Jag which nearly knocked me off my bike at Whitehall last week.

As a result, my “Green Taxes” are going to fund braying bankers, not wind turbines, which I’m going to now have to help fund myself. Again. Moreover, my taxes won’t be helping to send 50,000 kids to university, or provide new drugs on the NHS, instead it’s bailing out my bank and a negligent government. It even seems we can’t guarantee a police force which can do it’s job.

So there you have it, because my bank thought it was on a winner and made a sizeable donation to the election fund in return for a relaxing of the financial regulations, together with a moronic spend-thrifty Prime Minister, nee Chancellor who was apparently sleeping on the job, I’m now £2,500 indebted to my future self and having to pay for more stuff the government thinks I should have, but neither of us can't now afford.

I don’t think the word “cunts” even begins to cover it.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 16:43, 16 replies)
I'm sure this guy
loves his bank.

(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 16:13, 2 replies)
An accountants sense of humour
Once upon a time my Dad worked for the bank of England as a young accountant back in the late 60's.

One of the many weekly tasks was the interbank cheque exchange.... As you can imagine back then computers were not exactly mainstream or portable etc so the way the banks dealt with cheques paid in at each branch was to sort them out into big bundles for each bank, then once a week all meetup and hand them over to one another.

So picture the scene if you will, my Dad and other young accountants all descend at the exchange with suitcases full of cheques. His suitcase contains brick sized bundles of cheques for Lloyds, for Barclays etc etc.

Given that this was the late 60's and a house cost less than £1000 as you can imagine the sum of all the cheques being exchanged in a week didn't add up to much, perhaps a million pounds given that most were for less than a pound to pay the milkman etc.

Around the same time there was a record breaking business takeover in the press. I forget the company but it was something along the lines of Phillips taking over Marconi or similar and it made the headlines because it was the most expensive takeover in history. Couple of million pounds.

Almost unbelieveably by todays standards, but this was the 60's, the transaction was actually carried out by cheque and sure enough one day in dad's suitcase was a cheque for millions of pounds. As you can imagine to a bunch of accountants this cheque was a trophy to be admired like a geek with a star wars toy and they all gazed at it's beauty.

Now this is where it gets interesting... as the 70's approached and technology was revolutionizing the world the bank had a new gadget called a photocopier. Sure enough to capture the moment my Dad photocopied the cheque. Then the accountants humour stepped in.... the copy was cut to size and sent through the system "to see what happens".

Come the end of the day there is panic and commotion! A clearing system that only processes a million or two in transactions each day is several million quid in the wrong direction. What could have gone wrong to cause a cockup of such a magnitude?

Finally someone makes the connection the value of the error is the same as the takeover value in the headlines and after much checking the souveneir counterfeit is located. My Dad keeps a low profile until he's summoned to the chief cashiers office and is given a stern talking to.... at the end of it all the old boy looks over the top of his half moon glasses across the expanse of leather topped desk and regards the young accountant before him.... "Still, it was jolly good fun wasn't it!?".

For those curious Dad stayed with the bank of England nearing the point where he would have been the signature on the bank notes himself. Then one day he was in a train crash, knocked out and saw some pretty nasty things. He gave up commuting to London the next day and took a job managing a local bank instead.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 16:11, 4 replies)
Not that I tell everybody about my banking details...
...but once I went £300 into the red (no overdraft at the time). I've paid it back since, but every month or so, my bank take a measly amount out of my account (like, 27p or something).

I got a letter saying that as I was now well in the black, they'd stop randomly charging me miniscule amount. Two months later, they randomly took 87p out.

Not wanting to sound overly picky, I went in the bank next time I had some money to put in. I asked about this random 87p going out. They checked it, and realised their mistake.

A few days later, I got a cheque for 87p.

But that's not all. A few days after that, I got a phone call. It turns out that they 87p was the actual last charge for my me going in the red. Oh, alright then. As I hadn't cashed the 87p cheque, I decided not to bother, and the whole thing would sort itself out.

The following day, I got a cheque for minus 87p. Obviously, the smart clerks at the bank realised that a cheque worth 87p would be cancelled out with a cheque worth minus that amount.

(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 16:08, Reply)
Give us the fudging money!
Not me, but a friend of mine quite a few years ago got offered one of the best summer holiday jobs ever, doing bank raids.

Basically he used to do the occassional line ups for £20 or whatever at his local police station when he was approached to help with bank staff training with being raided.

He was given a fake gun and told he could do what he wanted but he couldn't hurt anyone. So when it was almost closing time, he run in do lots of shouting and pointing with his gun demanding cash etc..

The staff were all expecting the training, but he said it didn't detract from being one of the most exciting things he'd ever done.

Wish it'd been me, all I did was work at an injection molding factory for next to f'k all for my summer holidays.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 16:05, 4 replies)
Warning long and true story ahead…………….

When I bought my first home, the finance story for my wife and I was income solid but, savings poor. With our just less than 5% deposit I called a good mate of mine (so good we had shared a flat then a house together for 2 years 5 years prior). He worked for a bank that most Aussie will know as “which bank” as a lending officer handling home loans. I explained to Barney (for that was what we called the long streak of pelican shit) on the phone the situation and arranged to see him at his branch the next day. My wife and I both dogged a few hours off work to drive from separate locations from the City to God forsaken Ermington (across town where the roads and traffic are shite, and bugger all express ways).

We sat down at his desk in the legal loan sharking emporium masquerading as an open plan bank foyer and covered off again the stuff we talked about on the phone in regards to arranging our finance. We gave him our payslips and rent receipts etc etc, filled in the forms and talked about the house we where trying to buy. After our deposit was taken out the loan would have been with in easy payment for the two of us. We could easily have stood a 5% rate rise.

After 20 or so minutes, Barney shuffled the papers, tidied them up, put them in a folder and without consulting anyone he told us, his bank wouldn’t be able to give us a loan as we didn’t have all the runs on the board that where needed to qualify.


Both our jaws dropped and we shuffled out of the bank a little hurt that in a time when banks where apparently giving away money to unemployed single mothers with drug issues my mate (who had a good say in who got the money) at the bank that we had used together for 5 years with all our joint solvent accounts had told us to tell our story walking.

3 days later, after the shame of the first bank initiated nut kicking episode, while walking in a shopping centre on a Saturday morning, we came across a newly merged building society with built in insurance company and a newly formed and funded wealth management sort of business on the side. The only reason that we picked them was that they where the only bank open on a Saturday morning in our immediate vicinity. The chick in the bank was pretty cool and reckoned she could get us a loan if we had a few more grand in our deposit but our savings and rent payment demonstrate willingness to pay the loan and consistent history of reliability. So SJ (the missus) and I raced over to my parents place and fast talked them into a few extra brass razoos to let us buy the house, and because they are the most sublime of parents they chucked in what was needed and we went back to the bank with a freshly cut cheque.

By Tuesday the loan was approved and we lived in that house for 2½ years and only moved when a work transfer to Brisbane came up.

The other thing about his story is I am pretty sure our mate made a horrendous mistake knocking us back. His bank was so pissed off they made a hostile take of our new bank for all of the shares and of course our loan. Which they honoured in full to the agreement we made to get a cheaper interest rate for the term of the loan against the variable rate, they continued the discount in to the subsequent two more home loans we had with “which bank” (we moved and bought a bit bigger place for the kids to fit in, not bought more houses).

When the bank completed the merger Barney, the limpet tight, tight arse ex mate was made redundant.


Once the two companies where stitched together I reckon they found out the lazy feline rapist had been doing nothing for the last 10 years and kicked him out the door. In the long run this also reinforced how important my business was to the bank when he was hired by the main competing bank obviously in an attempt to get their hands on my accounts.
If that day ever comes when I sign up with the competition I can guarantee you I will be checking who is taking the loan application………. THE CUNT HE WAS
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:51, Reply)
I was going to go into a detailed story about each time I've been shafted by a bank.
Instead I shall sum them up in a simple easy to follow process.

1)Find problem
2)Contact bank
3)Wait in queue (standing in line or with phone wedged betwixt ear and shoulder)
4)Explain problem
5)Ask for clarification
6)Listen to complicated procedure or policy that has resulted in my problem
7)Puzzled, ask for further justification on said procedure/policy
8)Ask for alternatives
Then either
A) Find none, become incredibly frustrated by the whole business and (optionally) cry
B) Get a half baked solution and feel exhausted.

Example 1
I get a cash card to take to Australia from a bank that offers it as a commission free way of taking money out abroad. It doesn't work. I have to borrow £1000 from my cousin as I'm in a foreign country with no money. I get back and they try to charge me to transfer the money over to her account. I show them all the receipts of all the atms I used to try and get money out. They ask me if I know my PIN - I show them at the cash point outside that I do. They agree to transfer my money for free. I feel exhausted.

Example 2
The same cash card. I can still only use it at the atm but I'm in England so it works. I ask to get it upgraded into a debit card so I can use it in shops if my proper card is out of action for any reason. They say no - I don't have a good enough CREDIT RATING. For a DEBIT card. I get frustrated and cry.

Question for the audience
I recently got a letter from my online savings company suggesting I set up a regular saver. I used to use this account all the time and got a great rate. When I stopped getting the rate I trasferred all but £300 out and now my interest has dropped from 15p to 10p a month. How can I get across my frustration without just writing a letter that just gets filed under "Thank you for your comments"?
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:45, 3 replies)
One graduate loan, please.
I'd finished Uni with a Desmond and a pile of student loans. I had no job and fanciful aspirations of becoming a famous musician. I needed some new equipment with which to create my masterpieces and I had no money to buy it.

So I skipped to the bank, cap in hand, and was promptly offered a couple of grands worth of graduate loan.

"Ace!" I said to the man in the tie as I scribbled my name on a piece of paper.

"Indeed." he mumbled with an uncertain look and an air of regret.

"I'd best get a job if you want to see any of this money again." I half joked, before winking and shooting him with my fingers.

"Ummm..." he began all too late as I was already out the door.

Eventually I wished I'd followed my own advice. The difference between a graduate loan and the one they changed it to (after I finally capitulated and dragged my worthless self back in to speak to them) was a fair (read: fucking massive) increase in APR. Worse still I also doubled an overdraft I shouldn't have had in the first place. An overdraft that had been free during my student days, but was no longer. An overdraft they gracefully included in my loan at the new, significantly increased APR.

There's a moral to this story: if you get offered a loan, don't pretend to shoot the man with your fingers, they don't like it and will hold a grudge if you don't pay back the money you owe them that is.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:40, Reply)
"I do not borrow on credit cards."
"I have four young children. I give them advice not to pile up debts on their credit cards."

Matt Barrett, chief executive of Barclays.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:39, Reply)
Long story of stubborn coppery hell
Years of collecting coppers in a big jar until it finally reached the top. Conscientious as I am, I separate all the different denominations into different bags before toddling down to my local branch.

At the counter I pop down the first bag (full of 2 pences): "Could you change this for notes please?

"Sorry sir, you’ll have to put £1 of 2 pences into each of these little bags" - to which I am presented a handful of little plastic bags. A ball ache but fair enough. I take the time to count 50 two pences into a bag and hand it over before starting on the next one.

Whilst counting, I notice the clerk opens the first little bag and pours the contents into a counting machine which rattles through the lot in under a second, confirming I had counted correctly. Hmm, I spot a potential time saving solution:

"Can’t you use the counting machine to count the money and save me doing it ?"

"No sir, you have to put the money into the little bags".

"but you take it out the little bags and count it anyway."

"I’m sorry sir, you have to put the money into the little bags"

Pah ! Bollocks to this. I stick my hand into the big bag of 2ps, grab a handful and stick them in a plastic bag:

"There you go that’s a pound"

"No it isn’t. You didn’t count it"

"Yes I did. Why don’t you check with your machine."

To which the frowning clerk pours the contents into the machine and tells me its only 88p. I grab another random amount of 2 pences and add them to the little bag.

"Can you check again please ?"

"You didn’t count it"

"Yes I did. Why don’t you check ?"

And so I spent the best part of an hour in what became a war of attrition. Each time I grabbed a random amount of coinage - each time she would count it and tell me it was the incorrect amount, each time I would grab another random amount... She didn’t want to break procedure and I wanted to prove my point. Again. And Again. And Again.

Got there in the end but I cant help noticing some people are so stubborn.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:34, 14 replies)
Ahhh banks....
A long time ago - about six or seven years now, I had a bank account with a bank that was somewhat smaller than most - and a subsidiary of one of the biggest in the world.

One Christmas, I had trouble paying a loan payment to them - the moment I realised I'd fucked up, I phoned them and said, I simply don't have the full amount, but I can pop in and give you £xxx rather than nothing.

"Fine", they said, "you're not the first to fuck up, and we glad you offered us something rather than nothing" - or words to that effect.

So, in I go, pay in the money - all is very jovial and friendly.

Until the following Saturday when I get a loan statement from them telling me I'm being charged 25 quid.

Oh well, so be it, I think and just pay when the time comes.

So, about a week later I get a phone call from one of their personal wankers; "do you want to come in to discuss the state of your account and to see what we can do to help you out?"

I blatently don't - but being under the thumb at the time and having to do as my misses told me to do, I went along; just to listen to the twat try to sell me a secured loan (a loan I didn't and don't want).

Anyway, he completely convinces the misses, leaving me with little choice but to sign away my life and soul.

I asked him what to do about the current loan as this was soon to be swallowed up by the 'secured loan'. He tells me he will 'put a note on my account' and tells me not to make any more payments into that loan account.

So, I don't.

Several months pass without me paying, and without me hearing from him. I get several other calls from his colleagues per day, asking why I am not paying the loan and there is no sign of a 'note on my account'.

Eventually, after lying about my name when phoning his branch, I finally get him to answer the phone. He tells me at this point that they are not going to give the secured loan due to me not paying the full monthly amount over Christmas (now around 5 months ago), and so if I could just pay the outstanding amount, all will be fine.

Well, I simply cannot afford to do that, plus their 25 quids here and there for penalising me for not paying the loan on this blokes instructions.

I think about this for some time and get more and more angry - after all, all I was doing was as I was instructed to do by this donkey, and because of that, I end up several hundreds out of pocket and harrassed daily by phone by his work mates.

So I wrote a stinking letter to him, the ombudsman and frankly, anyone who looked like they might listen. In the letter, I basically stated that they had coerced me into defaulting on my loan so that I would incur charges, and that I couldn't believe that it was legal.

All of a sudden, he phones me on my mobile and says that he will 'knock 50 quid off the top of the loan' as a gesture of goodwill.

The people in Gillingham Tesco must have though I was mad when I started banging my phone on the conveyor belt and shouting "What? I.CAN'T.HEAR.YOU.," and "I could have sworn you only said 50 quid..." etc...

He ups the deal to 100 quid, then 150. Bare in mind, I owe around 8 grand.

Eventually, he agrees to me sending them 100 quid and we'll pretend we never met.

Seven weeks later, he phones, sounding all hurt and put out and says "are you going to send this money then, I thought we had a deal" to which I reply, "Oh, yes...in another weeks time. You took 8 weeks to reply to my letter, I'm taking 8 weeks to reply to you. I thought that was your protocol..."

Now...that sounds like a great result; and it was. But it started me thinking.

After I sent the stinking letter, they caved almost instantly and ran backwards as fast as they could, showering me with money until I went away.

Now, why would a bank do that, I mused?

It's not like banks are there to help people; they only help themselves, don't they?

I scanned the letter that I sent, and the only thing that struck a chord was the part about the legalities of what they were doing.

I started to research penalties in contracts between two parties and discovered that it's not legal for any one party to penalise another for a breach of contract. There's stacks of case law bouncing around all over the net (particulary now).

So, I was also having trouble with a bank that rhymes with 'Scabby Bashfull' - I'd changed jobs and due to my new employer not being able to tell the truth/pay on time - ended up with a shed load of similar charges.

I wrote to this bunch of cowboys too, explaining that the first bank had 'very nicely agreed' to help me out in my hour of need.

They wrote back saying, bad luck, just keep giving us your dosh.

I then wrote a seriously snotty letter back saying that unless they returned to me all the dosh they had taken I would take them to court based on the case law mentioned earlier.

They declined to play ball, and more-or-less said, "go on then, see if we care"

So, I did.

Now, this is in the days before this was common knowledge (indeed, I started the Bank Action Group which went on to become The Consumer Action Group - but we'll get to that bit in a minute).

The next day, I saw my (then) mother-in-law. She started freaking out at me, saying "What the hell do you think you're doing suing a bank? Don't you realise you've got children and a house etc... You can't take on a bank...you're going to get screwed, etc....ad nausium"

I reassured her that I knew what I was doing and it was all in hand.

...whilst secretly shitting my pants at the very thought at what I had done.

Word got about a bit, through the interwebs what I was doing; and I met (virtualy) another chap doing the same thing to the same bank - and so we kept in touch via email.

I then went on holiday.

I popped into an Internet cafe to keep myself informed of what was happening and it was then that this other chap informed me that Scabby was trying to get his case moved out of the small claim track in an attempt to make him liable for costs, should he lose.

This gave me a new round of bowel opening moments.

It pertty much ruined the holiday for me.

When I got back I had a letter from their solicitor telling me that if I backed down now, that they wouldn't persue me for costs.

It was at that point that I knew I had them on the run, and so I wrote back and told them that if they'd like to deposit £xxx.xx in my account, then at that point I would stop suing them, and not before.

The next letter took me somewhat by suprise; it was:

"ok, we agree; but we want you to sign this confidentiality agreement so that you can't tell anyone else what greedy, lying weasles we really are."

I replied, informing them that I considered that to be a seperate commercial agreement between myself and their client, and as such I would charge £50,000 for that service.

I was told to go forth and attempt to have more children, in no uncertain terms, and that the money would be in my account the following week.

So, now, not being bound by any legal crap from telling anyone about it - I set about informing everyone who would listen about how to get their bank charges back.

I set up a website - the Bank Action Group - and wrote to MPs, posted in web forums, wrote to every legal person I could, wrote to all the newspapers etc....

Martin Lewis contacted me and helped to fund starting the site up with his own money - then ran with the idea himself (I don't mind at all ;-))

In fact, the letters that people were downloading from his (and my) site were written by me originally. They've been updated a few times since, but in essense, if you've downloaded any of the letters from either site, then these are my handywork!

I was interviewed by The Guardian, the Mail (hurl), BBC's Working Lunch, Tonight with Trev. MaccyD etc...

Before long, I (we, I had a partner in crime by this point) changed the name of the site to the Consumer Action Group, as it was apparent that it wasn't just banks that were ripping people off left, right and centre.

So, to cut a very long story a bit shorter, I ended up directly and indirectly costing the banks hundreds of millions in unfair and basically stolen money.

Still, a word of advice - don't run a forum with thousands of members if the forum is about an emotive subject.

You wouldn't believe the legal threats and arguments - not least from the users of the site - the banks I could understand, after all, we were the enemy, but the users suing and attempting to sue - well, that bit did take me by suprise.

I'm no longer involved now, and haven't been for a long time - I set out to help people who were already struggling financially to get a bit of their hard earned dosh back from very rich fuckers who would take it when you were already down, and ended up embroiled in arguments and legal battles almost daily.

Still, overal, I bet those bastards wish they'd paid the 50k now! ;-)
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:22, 20 replies)
HSBC have no scruples and are idiots
My father was a bank manager, his father too. As such I've grown up understanding the importance of a good banking relationship.

This is why personally I do NOT bank with HSBC.

However my ex and her family did/does. On frequent occasions I had to help out trying to sort out the mess HSBC made of things including but not limited to:

Allowing a middle aged lady with no employment history who was reliant on a small disability allowance to live and had no assets whatsoever to have and max out a credit card with an £8000 limit as well as a personal loan, the repayments for which were more than her total income!

Allowing a 19yr old with no assets and only a part-time job to have a £20k personal loan which got spent on rent etc so again no assets, then when she struggled to pay it instead of listening to offers to repay at a lower rate did nothing but threaten to take her to court (where there was no hope of recovering the debt anyway!?).

You're right the actions of those people (ex's family) were wrong in the first place, but lets face it you dangle the carrot and most people take it. So HSBC just shouldn't have allowed it to happen.

SO, banks in crisis etc etc? I'm not surprised. You lend money to people who can't repay it and that's gonna happen.

Ironically of all the debt "products" the banks offer when the crisis happened they withdrew mortgages, the only debt with real tangible collatoral in proportion to the debt. Yet they still offered credit cards and unsecured loans simply because they were more profitable.

It's not that I hate the banks, I'm just very dissappointed with them.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:17, 6 replies)
I witnessed something quite entertaining...
outside a bank once so I will plonk it down for this QOTW...

A few years ago when I was still living in a dodgy little market town I used to spend a lot of my days hanging around a Blockbusters store with my best friend. She worked behind the counter and her shifts were long and uneventful so I used to loiter around the place cheering her up, watching DVDs, eating ice cream and benefiting from her staff discount, it was good fun.

One day we were sorting out the returned DVDs in the drop box when we heard screeching of car tyres and doors slamming. We presumed that there might have been a car accident or something so peered out the windows to see what was going on, nothing much - there was an empty car further down the road which had pulled up on double yellows and that was about it. We figured someone had just parked up a little too aggressively and then ran into the bank next door. We left the window and carried on with the drop box.

About 2 minutes later we heard a man shout, a woman scream and about 5 policemen run past the shop window, batons swinging. We poked our heads out the door to witness four masked guys running out of the bank then get taken down with impressive force by the coppers. Turned out these guys were attempting to rob a bank which was about 100 yards from the town police station. I can't imagine they were local because they all seemed mystified as to how the police got to the scene of the crime so fast - Bless.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:17, Reply)
Before the ''credit crunch'', when banks actually lent money to people.....
A guy I work with needed a few grand to blow on his 50th birthday. Not having a few grand however, he decided to phone up his bank.

''Hello there, I've been banking with you for x years, and I'd like a loan for £5000 please''
''Shouldn't be a problem sir, but for our loan approval system may I ask what this loan is for?''
''Well, it's my 50th birthday next month, and since you're only 50 once, I'd like to blow the lot on a holiday and a massive piss-up''
''Right, okay. Let's just put that down as a loan for a new car then''.
Loan approved.

Come to think of it, no wonder we're all in this fucking mess......
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:13, Reply)
snowmen help clear bank debts!
I accidently went into my overdraft one month and was sent a letter from my bank saying that would be charged £30 for this!

I wrote them a letter and placed pics of SNOWMEN and SANTAS around the edges and made "smiley faces" throughout - hoping they would let me off the charges, just this once! - as it was christmas time an all!

a few days later I get a call from said bank, who said my letter cheared up her morning and she would clear my charge for me! - apparently my letter was put up on the wall for everyone to see!

...i told my mate, who tried the same thing with her bank (copying my letter) and they also dropped the charges..

just goes to show it pays to be nice!!! :)
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:12, 1 reply)
If you're like me at some point in your life you will have gone overdrawn

It's an awful feeling scraping along the bottom of your overdraft desperately trying to get enough cash together to pay the fees added that prevent you ever quite escaping the monetary black hole.

Well the good news is that some eminently sensible law making type people decided that adding ridiculous fees to the accounts of people who obviously couldn't afford them was a bit of a shitty thing to do.

Consequently I'd like to draw your attention to this excellent website www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/bank-charges where you can download all you need to reclaim these now illegal charges.

Go forth my pretties and reclaim your money, reclaim your freedom and reclaim your dignity!!

Fuck them where it hurts, in their big fat coin purses.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:10, 1 reply)
Confessions of a NatWest admin monkey
“Why are we advising our customers to pay more money into a financial product that has consistently under performed?” I asked the top-dog manager who had called the meeting.

I didn’t stay long at that job.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 15:02, Reply)
When my first student loan went in
they forgot the pennies. it was something like £1568.38

They put in £1568.00
They realised the mistake and then took out £1568.00
They then fucked up and took out £1568.38 leaving me overdrawn and them charging me several million quids!

I complained and they apologised and said everything would be sorted.

I went to get some money out and they had put back £1568.38

Which left me with a balance of £0.00

I took me another two weeks to get them to put the money back because they kept saying "we've put it back in" to which I shouted "Yes but you fucking took it out twice!"

Fucking banks its not their fucking money anyway.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 14:38, 3 replies)
I used to belong
to a very nice private bank that may or may not have rhymed with "boots".

Until the day that they decided to make it even more exclusive, and charge £150 per quarter to any customer who keeps less than £10,000 in their current account*.

I asked them what their interest rate would be for the current account: It was 0.5%. Hardly an incentive to stay. I quit, and have been suffering at the hands of NatWest for nearly a year. I hate NatWest.

*Yep, current account. Not even across all their accounts or in savings.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 14:36, 6 replies)

This question is now closed.

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