Banker Robbers Still On The Loose
If I considered it as the plot for my next novel, I would discard it immediately as being completely unbelieveable. It is outrageous. The story of the way the banks have wriggled and wormed away from their responsibilities is the biggest scandal the world has ever seen.
Today the shameful figures are revealed of the number of complaints that our high street banks receive. See here. It is an appalling litany of failure and disrespect of customers. Complaints are at the very bottom of their priorities. They are inefficent. They have bonus systems that discourage staff from accepting complaints. Santander, which so many used to know as the Abbey or Alliance & Leicester, cannot manage to answer even half of its complaints within two months! It is shocking. It hasn’t got better since we all bailed them out. It’s got worse. Oh, except for the bonuses. They just get bigger and bigger all the time.
These problems, affecting the modest balances of ordinary people, may seem trivial in the context of the billions that the banks have already cost us but they are not. They are crucial. This is real money belonging to real people and needed to pay real bills. It’s not the cocaine, champagne, Ferrari fantasy of some City boy ponce. These figures indicate precisely the contempt, the utter disregard which bankers have for us even though it is we, ordinary people, who have been called on to rescue them from their catastrophic mistakes.
Where is Vince Cable now? He is the biggest disappointment of the coalition government. His brave words as recently as the LibDem conference are all hot air. He has let us all down. His promises were empty.
We want the banks split up so that they are no longer too big to fail. Only today, in Ireland they are realising that their nation is still held to ransom by its bankers. So is ours.
We want retail and transaction banking separated entirely from casino investment banking so that there can be no more threat to our economy from the spivs and gamblers. We don’t want any of these sharks anywhere near our money. John Diamond, the putative new head of Barclays has made a £100 milion fortune on the back of the taxpayer and the banking crisis. He is not a fit and proper person to be in charge of a British bank. The government should ban him immediately.
Late last year the Office of Fair Trading let the banks off a £40 billion hook. These were the extortionate charges illegally debited from customers’ accounts over the previous six years. See here. This was in addition to the £850 billion cost of the original bailout. See here.
How much more are they going to get away with?
When will David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Vince Cable stop dithering?
Stop the banker robbers now!