River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Don't Bank on them!

March 2002

Are our banks full of Merchants?

What do you think of banks? When I first opened an account in the late 50's, they were a much-revered institution. I can clearly remember seeking advice from my bank manager in much the same way as one would do so nowadays with a solicitor, the difference now being that it would cost you money.

Somewhere along the line the banks have changed dramatically. At one time, their whole ethos was to serve the public. Now, they are inward looking and exist only to serve themselves. They have also become inefficient and prone to errors. Their profile in the press has dropped alarmingly. Anybody who has had a problem with their bank will know how reluctant they are to solve it, and it takes a lot of time and persistence to get any sort of satisfaction.

However, I come to their latest bit of dottiness. I have just been advised that I can withdraw on a daily basis from an ATM the sum of £1,000 - providing that I have that much in my account! I had always considered that £250 was ample and a high enough sum to be holding on one's hand in a main street. This new amount is sure to make the mugger's eyes light up and create more attacks on the public. In an age when plastic cards are supposed to be the way forward in obviating the need for high amounts of ready cash, this action seems unbelievable. It cannot be that the banks are doing it for their customers' benefit - that does not happen these days - so what is it? Any bankers in our villages please write to the Pump!

Graham Forster

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