I was ambivalent about the G20 riots today, as I’m doubtful of the value of breaking a few windows and terrorising a few hapless clerks in a bank. But having said that, it reveals – along with the vandalism of Fred The Shred – the extent of the feeling against banks in the county, and probably around the world, at the moment.
I think I probably speak for everyone when I say ‘Fuck you, banks. No really, just fuck right off.’ All those years of being patronised by a clerk in a bank, being told off because you haven’t told the bank you’ve moved, but if you want to change your address you’ll have to go back home and get your passport.
Those sneaky charges, the time they cancelled your overdraft without telling you, the way they charge you simply to bank with them.
Yeah, fuck you banks. That’s basically what the entire world is saying to banks right now.
How have the banks responded to this public outpouring of hatred, contempt and mistrust? With some touchy-feely ads trying to convince us that all they’re doing is trying to help us – if only we’ll let them.
Their footsoldiers are people who work in the banks. A lot of them are undoubtedly good, decent, honest people. The banks know this, which is why they’re on the front line. They’re powerless when you’re railing against them for the hidden charge.
They’re forced into this position by the people upstairs. It’s not their fault – they’re just there to take the bullet and soak up the flack.
The nice ads are telling us that they’ve changed, they’re listening and they’re there to help. But with the other hand they’re still appealing over the reclaiming of extortionate bank charges, even after being told several times by the Office of Fair Trading that their charges are incredibly honestly-how-have-you-got-the-gall beyond-the-pale unfair. Still! Greeting you with one hand and inviting you to swivel on the other.
I’ve been going to write this entry for a while and was waiting for one of those horrible NatWest ads to crop up on Youtube, but clearly no-one has the stomach for them. A small incident recently has made me revisit the banks ads though.
I went in to query a charge the other day for £28. It turns out I was overdrawn for a day to the sum of six pound back in December. By my reckoning its the first time I’ve been overdrawn for about eight years, so I was fairly annoyed.
But what can you do? There was a nice young lady lined up as cannon fodder to tell me there was nothing she could do. Just like in the ads.
Meanwhile, the people who dream up these outrageous charges and wrecked our entire economy dream up more ways to make money. See Barclays entirely legal tax avoidance branch and the hair-raising details that go with if you don’t believe me.
This is what banks are about. They’re there to make money out of you at every turn. Don’t ever forget it.
So don’t even fucking try it on banks, we’re on to you now. And fuck off with your wretched ads. Every single one of you.