You want to know how to steal sweets from a baby? First thing you have to do is go and watch Bankers at work. They do, after all, have a long and intense history of stealing from their customers at every turn possible.
Now I am not even going to mention the merchant bankers or investment bankers or the other high flying crooks and conmen – after all they are now quite separate – aren’t they? I mean HSBC is shipping their high flyers off to Hong Kong so as not to upset us mere mortals.
“Oh,” you may say, “Surely that’s an exaggeration. I’m sure there are a lot of things that banks do to help us.”
“Just tell me then,” would be my reply.
“Tell me anything that banks do that isn’t geared up simply to make them money. Customer care and customer service come a heck of a long way back in their list of priorities.”
I could bore you to death with tales of how banks manage to rip us off. I could mention the tracker mortgages that are advertised but then mysteriously do not apply to us – “Because of your particular circumstances.” Or perhaps the “arrangement fees” that are glossed over in any promotional literature.
I won’t even mention the cost of having what used to be an annual review of your overdraft facility if you were a small business, This soon turned into a six monthly arrangement when they discovered that they could make a few more quid. To make things easier they were prepared to let it be re-negotiated via a phone call but nevertheless this had cost you a further “arrangement fee.”
And for any poor sap who actually went over their agreed overdraft facility, then the tales of horror beggar belief. There are cases where going overdrawn by as little as three pence, ended up costing almost two hundred pounds in fees and charges for letters, and all because of a single day’s delay in processing a payment into an account.
But that is where I shall draw your attention to one of the biggest scams that banks have been perpetrating for decades, and still continue to do so, all the while protesting their innocence. It’s all to do with the time it takes for money to get into your account from someone else’s. It is also to do with what happens to that money whilst it is apparently “between banks”.
And that is just in the UK. If you have the temerity to want to transfer money from one country to another, then get ready for delays of days and even weeks in some cases. All this is going on whilst at the same time the same Bankers are warning us of the dangers of money flowing across borders when speculators and the like start their tricks.
But wait. How the Heck are these currency speculators able to transfer money around the blasted globe in milliseconds if it takes us days or weeks to get a simple bank transfer? How is it possible that we too can make a payment online in seconds or minutes and yet the banks need to allow extra days “For security purposes”.
And yet again, how come the money LEAVES our accounts within a short time of us starting the process but doesn’t reappear elsewhere for some considerable time? Is there some special money limbo where it goes to rest between movements? Or is the money in fact sitting happily in an account somewhere else being used to make yet more money for the banks?
Could such a thing be possible? You bet your darned life it can! Even way back in the 20th century the big retailers used to have all their branches ring in to head office to say how much money they had just counted in their tills. Then someone would add it all up and place the money on the currency market in say Hong Kong or Tokyo. In one such retailer that I know of for certain, just doing that made the company some ten to twelve million pounds a year.
Now just imagine how much the banks make with all the accounts they control and all the transfers that have money “unavailable” for three or more days at a time. Strange isn’t it, that none of this is mentioned in the banks’ annual reports. But then again if they did, then perhaps some of the customers would start to get upset.