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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)
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Summarising the posts so far...
I opened a bank account once in the full and reasonable expectation that the banking system existed entirely for my benefit. Because of this, I didn't bother reading the paperwork I'd signed; nor did I take much notice about my credit cards, overdraft limit, or anything else like that. After all, when the banking system is designed around your personal needs, desires and proclivities, it's up to the banks to keep up with you.

Or me, in this case.

So I am, of course, full of righteous indignation about the manner in which these huge corporations have utterly failed to give their undivided attention to me, and - worse - the way in which they have utterly failed to read my mind and sort out all my banking requirements on my behalf without my even having to ask them.

I'm also disgusted by the way that these businesses seem to think that they can behave as though it's important to make a profit. What temerity! What kind of world is it when a bank thinks that it exists to sell goods and services and make money from those sales, just like any other business? After all, I think we've already established that the system is for MY benefit, and mine alone. I think it's disgusting that they should be able to charge me fees just because I really can't be bothered to look after my own finances. It's not as if I get anything in return (except interest on my savings and access to loans when I need them - but they don't count).

I'm steaming with rage about the way in which, that time when the ATM went mad and doled out free £20 notes, I had to repay what I'd been given by accident.

Personally, I blame the Illuminati, the Bildeberg Group (I don't know what this is, but I've heard of it, and it sounds sinister) and the Jews.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 12:43, 19 replies)
The reason most people seem to be mad
is that the money they've been charged "for services" has been demanded without actual access to the services indicated. The majority of stories are about rude, ineffectual or scrounging bankers- who may well be the minority of a functioning business, but at the same time deserve as much ridicule and public slating as, say, bus drivers did. Also, since the government had to bail out the "businesses" with our money, since as a business they failed, it seems strange to be enraged because we react as if we deserve something in return.

They don't operate for our benfit, no, but we can't function without them if we want to earn a salary, process taxes or buy a mortgage. We're dependant on them, and they are on us. They need to understand that it's a two way relationship, and not wholly focused on either of us.

Just sayin'.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 12:55, closed)
I tend to find that the judicious application of bile is much less rewarding than the scattergun.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 13:31, closed)
But it does swing on how one applies the bile, and whom it hits. ;)
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 14:02, closed)

Whom it hits.

And I disagree. I'm just unpleasant.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 14:06, closed)
Duly edited. :-)
And fair enough...
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 14:09, closed)
should attempt to sell it as 'a benefit' for us then should they?

They also should abide by the laws of the country when making a profit - like nearly all other profit making companies/industries.

They should also be somewhat greatful that lots of people lend them their hard earned cash in return for, well, shite service, rude and obnoxious staff, very dubious practices and downright greedyness.

Other than that, then I suppose that they are like all other businesses - apart from without ethics or morals.

Oh, and then, unlike most other businesses, moan loudly when their greedyness gets them into trouble, and expect the very people that they provide shite service, rudeness etc.... to, to bail them out with their hard earned cash.

Surely you can see where most people are coming from, no?
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 13:36, closed)
"apart from without ethics or morals"
What do you mean by that? Doesn't the board have a duty - legal and moral - to maximise profits for shareholders?

Or, in your world, is ethics just about being fluffy?

(Oh, and, for the record, what grounds your claims of illegality?)
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 13:42, closed)
They do have that duty
but I wouldn't say it's moral- it's a basic trait of something being a company that the shareholders expect returns. It's just that when you're a bank, everyone who has 50p is a shareholder- and yet the people who can afford it least are the ones being fucked in the ass.

Yes, they should work as a business. No, they have no moral or legal right to maximise profits by exploiting people through fines, legal beaurocracy, unrealistic promises/loans and so on. It's not ethical to pretend you're "helping" someone by giving them a loan when you KNOW that they cannot repay it, and you're simply waiting to fine them.

We've had stories here about people who can't find money to eat, to travel, or even to get medical care. The banks have proven that there is no humanity in the way they function, even though the business they provide is one that we all need to survive. There's nothing ethical about that.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 14:07, closed)
I still don't know what you mean by "ethical".
It looks like "fluffy" to me.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 14:37, closed)
<a href="http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethical" target="_blank">dictionary.reference.com/browse/ethical</a>
1. pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.
2. being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, esp. the standards of a profession.

EDIT: Obviously one's interpretation of the rules and standards is partially subjective. However, I would suggest that codes such as Trading Standards and so on would be badly received by a bank.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 14:48, closed)
*holds head in hands*
*weeps gently*

1. doesn't answer the question, since we can now just ask what you mean by "moral". Subsitituing one term for another doesn't answer the question. And, re. 2, what provides the foundation for these standards? Are they plucked out of the air?

Do you honestly think that codes of practice are morally powerful in their own right?
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 15:04, closed)
**hands tissue**
As I already said, morality is entirely subjective. I don't have encyclopaedic knowledge of any moral or legal code, so I can't possibly explain to you what Morals are, or why yours and mine are inherently different- simply that they are.

1. And 2. Are copy/pasted from the site I quoted- simply to ascertain what I personally mean when I say something is ethical or not. So I didn't post 1. to answer the question, simply to place the second quotation in some form of context.

The foundation for the standards would be initially set by the law, and by the standards of the people who run a company. However, there are quite strict trading laws and ethical practices which all businesses in the UK at least are legally obliged to follow- of which the Trading Standards act, which I mentioned, is one.

What the previous poster hinted at when mentioning legality is that, if the Banks are a "business", then why do they conform to a different set of standards to those which are enforced by the government on every other business in this country?

Morality aside, ethical practices aside, they do NOT act like a business as far as the law in concerned.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 15:25, closed)
Oh, please stop.
Morality is entirely subjective? Really? Really? So there's no grounds on which you can say that Hitler actually did anything wrong, then? And if you can't possibly explain "what morals are", what are you doing making moral claims? By your own definition, you have no idea what you mean - so quite how anyone else is supposed to understand you is something of a mystery.

In fact, you didn't say that morality was subjective before. You said that the interpretation was subjective. Can you not tell the difference between something and its interpretation?

You still haven't answered the question about the origins of moral claims, though: to say that it's the law simply won't do - again, because that'd mean that there'd be no way to evaluate the desirability of a given law; nor would there ever be any moral reason to change the law.

Moreover, most codes of practice go quite a way beyond the demands of the law - so, if they're compelling, it can't be because of their legal foundation.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 15:32, closed)
Do you want me to stop, or to address the points you've made?
I said that morality was subjective, and that in this case it was initially dependant on the law and only THEN could we apply our own morals- and yes, they are subjective.

"What are you doing making moral claims?" - I'm making them based on my own moral code. What I meant (and probably didn't explain too clearly, since there's a fair deal of misunderstanding here) is that there is NO WAY my moral code is the same as anyone else's. Even in subtle ways, it would be different. Therefore there is no way my moral code would be justitifiable to someone who thinks otherwise.

For example, there's a difference in someone who thinks it's morally right to exploit people in order to protect money invested in shareholder accounts, rather than showing some shred of humanity in dealings with people who don't understand the workings of a bank. To me, ethics are about humanity, not capitalism.

You haven't told me what your morals are either, and frankly I don't care. They're bound to be something that coincides with the Law, since that's the code we're all raised to follow. Other than that, I'm sure you're very different from me, and wouldn't agree with my moral code.

Yes, everything is rooted in the law. I was raised as a Christian, so after the law comes my religious code. After that comes the code that my mother taught to me- manners, rules, and so on. I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it if I told you I feel the origins of morality are rooted in the Bible, so how about in the generations of people before us, who decided how to act and how to behave in order to function as a civilised society? Hell, morality probably came before that, when Darwin's ancestors first decided to give a banana to the starving marmot in the next tree. In our society, morality could be said to come from the wars (Dulce Et Decorum Est?), from the civil unrest, from the history that made our country- all things that are compiled in our history, our law, our consciousness.

Second, being subjective does NOT mean that our subjectivity is always justified. I know that people disagree with my own moral code, just as I disagree with some people's... but unless their actions are embodied in some physical form outside the boundaries of the law then there's nothing we can do to change them. I find it frankly offensive that you associate the freedom of conviction that I've been trying to explain to you to the actions of the Nazi party.

(I have no internet for the next week, so sorry if I suddenly disappear after this post. :( )
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 22:44, closed)
But but but but but
My bank used to charge £30 per day, up to a maximum of three days, if I went over my overdraft limit.

So if I went even a pound over my limit the bank would take £30. If I failed to notice I had gone over they would take another £30 . . . and another. And in this age of interwebs and mobile phones which form of communication do the bank use to tell me I've gone over? That's right, a printed letter. Which could often take a couple of days to reach me.

End result? £90 to the bank for going 1 pound over my limit. That's not a "fee" for a "service", that's robbery.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 15:01, closed)
You're still assuming that your finances are primarily the bank's responsibility.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 15:06, closed)
No, I'm not.
Your main point seemed to be that banks are businesses and have a right to charge fees and make money, which is absolutely fine. But how can you defend banks when they make punitive and disproportionate charges? And my point really is to ask why in this techamological age they have to send me a letter which generally gets to me too late to do anything about it. The reason is to make more money from me, plain and simple.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 15:10, closed)
Yes you are
Don't go over your overdraft limited - don't get charged GBP30 - profit.

The stories of people being screwed over *by* bank errors are appalling, and those people have the absolute right to be enraged at the banks. But if you end up paying a hundred quid penalty because you're too inept to notice you're spending money that you haven't got and don't have the right to spend, I'm failing to spot the moral problem.

(see: "I only nicked a tenner's worth of stuff from Tesco's, so it's outrageous that I've been fined gbp200 for shoplifting!")
(, Sat 18 Jul 2009, 14:14, closed)
Because it's a penalty
Why should being £1 over incur such a disproportionate penalty? If I borrowed a pound from you would you demand I pay £90 back? Surely it cannot be hard to set up a system whereby you pay 50% on any extra that comes out of your account? So if you're a pound over you pay £1.50 back, and if you're £100 over you pay £150 back. That way the penalty is proportionate to the ammount. Why can we not do that? Answer: The current system produces maximum profit for the bank.

And for the record the only time this happens is when something comes out of my account before something else has cleared. Yes, it would be nice to have more going into my account but I live in something that I like to call "the real world" and as such that is not a possibility. You seem to be assuming that I'm some airhead who cannot balance his finances, and is wantonly spending money which is not his, which I assure you is not true.
(, Mon 20 Jul 2009, 9:31, closed)

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