/ Money

Your view: banking investigation attracts 400+ comments

Speech bubbles with money symbols

Our recent discussion about the investigation into the ‘Big Four’ banks by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) prompted a plentiful debate. In fact you’ve shared so many great comments, we’re still working our way through them.

Wavechange welcomed this latest Convo by saying:

‘I think it is very useful to raise interest (unintentional pun) in banking issues so that we know what to look out for.

‘If you are happy with the banking industry you might be in a minority.’

Rewarding customer loyalty

Good customer service and rewarding loyalty were some of the key themes that came up, as Tony Arnold told us:

‘My major complaint is the total unwillingness of banks, and other major organisations, to pay the slightest attention to customer loyalty; it’s a two way street, and I am surprised that boards cannot recognise this.’

Blair said banking culture needs to change so that the banks put customers, not shareholders, first:

‘Loyal customers spend more, which leads to better results for the shareholders. Splitting the investment banks from retail is essential as the culture of the investment bank will be different from a retail bank. It also de-risks the industry.’

And Jo is missing the personal banking touch:

‘Where is the banks’ loyalty to their existing customers? There is no integrity left in banking. There is no personal service.’

Tricky terms and conditions

Neil Kenyon posted a controversial comment regarding what many believe are complicated terms and conditions:

‘Everything is written down in black and white. If they, the consumer, cannot be bothered to read the T&C’s then caveat emptor.’

With Hugh Thomas responding:

‘Many people do not have the time to read through reams of T&C’s. I believe that a number of Which?’s financial experts found them opaque and misleading. The banking system in this country, especially the Big Four, put profit above their customers well being and are not fit for purpose. I should know, I have tried them all!’

The debate has been fascinating reading for our team – hearing not only about those who have had problems with their bank, but the happy customers too. We’re in the process of cataloging these comments by theme and bank/building society to help inform our meetings with the banking industry, and of course those leading the investigation, the CMA.

Comment of the week for the CMA to read

And for that reason, we’ll end on Wavechange’s great comment, which earns him Comment of the Week:

‘I fully support the forthcoming CMA inquiry and am glad that Louise has provided this Conversation. It should be obvious that most of our contributors are in favour too and the large number of posts in the past 24 hours suggests that there is considerable concern about banking services.

‘If you are happy with your banking that’s fine, but I’m keen that our banks, supermarkets and other sectors all deliver a decent and fair service, even though we may need to choose which best serves our need. Let’s listen to those who are unhappy and if their criticisms are fair (not all are, of course), push for change.’

Peter says:
5 June 2015

Jailing crooked bankers would send a salutary message to the industry, they just laugh at fines.

Rather than just jailing them at enormous public expense, I think they should be productively employed on a repetitive task like counting the coins returned from checkouts and bus garages and bundling the notes for use in ATM’s. Their first duty of the day should be to polish the brass plate on the frontage and scrub the steps until they gleam. The likelihood that somebody might catch them with their boot on the way in imparts an added frisson to the activity. Of course it would be wrong to humiliate them publicly so to protect their anonymity they should all wear identical brown warehouse coats and flat caps. Their surrender of all credit cards, store cards and other deferred payment facilities would be seen as an honourable and virtuous gesture.

I don’t agree, John. They have to be kept as far away from money as possible. I would employ them in jobs where people matter, rather than money. That’s a serious suggestion.