Filed under: Comment
A long time ago – when I was living in Singapore – I tried to buy a house in Sydney.
That might sound difficult, but it wasn’t really.
We already had the finance in place and had organised all the relevant inspections to be done within days of it being listed, so even though we only ever saw the house on the internet, we felt happy enough to go ahead and make an offer.
Better yet, it was accepted. Result.
So now it came to transferring the money and because my Australian bank, ANZ, had ‘internet transfer limit restrictions’, we worked out the best way to do it was send a cheque.
Now I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t written a cheque in decades so I rang the bank to check whether I signed my cheques R. Campbell or Robert Campbell.
Please note I didn’t want to know what the signature was [that wouldn’t have changed] but I couldn’t remember how I signed them and I was wary of sending 2 cheques because  it was a huge amount of money and  I didn’t trust them enough to not cash both of them and put me into mountains of debt.
So I rang the bank and they put me on to their ‘help line’ who told me,
“There is no one here that will help you.”
That was it, basically a big fat no followed by a please go away.
No offer of help … no suggestions how to get round it … no nothing.
And all from a bank that say’s, ‘We Live In Your World’.
And so do you know what I had to do?
I had to fly to Sydney … go into the branch with my passport so I could check my signature … then write a cheque for the deposit and hand it right back to them.
This was a bank I had been with for 10 years … a bank I’d always had a good credit rating with … a bank that had constantly harassed me to help with my finances and investments and yet they couldn’t be arsed to lift a finger to help their customer, despite knowing he was buying a house and was living in Singapore.
I say all this because I recently read a story about another dissatisfied bank customer who lived overseas.
Except this one banked with my favourite hated financial institution, HSBC.
You know, the ones who claim to be the World’s Local Bank.
This poor sod also had to fly 16,000kms to get his hands ON HIS OWN MONEY, except in his case … it wasn’t to buy a house, it was just so he could use his bloody ATM card.
I am fed up of banks.
They don’t help.
They don’t care.
They don’t want to pay you any interest.
All they want to do is find as many ways as possible to frustrate you from getting your hands on your money, so they can use it to invest in things that will make them more money. And even when they do ‘supposedly’ care, you’re pretty sure that it’s so they can get you to give them more, so they can invest it in schemes that pay them loads and lose you even more.
It would be so easy for a bank to be loved.
It’s a category that is absolutely ripe for someone to sweep in and undermine all the competition.
But it will be hard for someone to do that, because they’re either too intimidated by what the big boys will do to them or are too focused on self-interest, get-rich-quick schemes … which is why I hope that more and more things like Square come and fuck them over, even though in reality, they’ll never make the impact needed for banks to fundamentally change their ways, which is why we’ll have to endure even more banks promising they ‘care’ and are ‘global, yet local’ even though what they actually mean is they only care about themselves are every branch operates with the mindset of blinkered, provincial, jobs worth who hates everyone who may make them have to do a bit of work that will benefit someone other than themselves.
25 Comments so far
Leave a comment