Scumbag Corner – a round-up from the financial sector
The banks are still trying to get their heads around the fact that they can no longer charge customers vast, disproportionate sums of money every time they exceed their overdraft limit – and it’s troubling them deeply.
Don’t worry though, because they’re looking at alternative ways of getting back all that money that made that wasn’t rightfully theirs in the first place. It’s a little bit like a burglar being released from prison, accepting that breaking into houses was wrong and turning his attentions to mugging old ladies instead.
The newspapers are speculating on how the banks will claw back all that dirty money and the Daily Mail are suggesting that charges for cash machine withdrawals could be introduced. Helpfully. they fail to back up this claim with any quotes that might actually give their story any foundation. Good old Daily Mail – helping disrupt the sleep of millions of their readers every day.
Elsewhere, it’s cheques that could be in the firing line. The Payments Council might sound like an acid jazz combo but they’re actually a group made up from representatives of all the banks. On December 16th they’ll be voting over whether or not to scrap cheques forever by 2018.
Good for them – it costs them a pound to process a cheque and that money is obviously eating an unacceptable hole in their vast profits. Well, even though hardly anyone is using cheques any more, which must be the main reason for scrapping them. [Bitterwallet does stat check] – yep, only 3.8 million cheques are written every day. Just four per cent of all payments. That’s a poxy amount. Ban them now we say!
Finally from Scumbag Corner, you’d expect the Financial Ombudsman Service to be a holier-than-thou organisation, staffed by right-thinking folk all keen to see that fair play wins every time there’s a clash between customer and financial corporation.
Sadly, and inevitably, you’d be wrong. A former FOS adjudicator has turned whistleblower, explaining how staff are set near-impossible targets to meet when it comes to clearing cases, meaning that scores of cases are under-investigated and justice is rarely done.
Adjudicators also receive little training beyond a one-day induction course and many of them are ill-equipped to deal with the complex cases that they are expected to investigate. A spokesman for the ombudsman more or less backed up this claim by telling The Times: “Our work would be much easier if businesses dealt with us and their customers in plain English.”
Aw, bless them...