Banks fundamentally failing their customers left and right

Business banking news review: week ending 13 June 2013

I don’t know about you, but everywhere I turned this week I saw banks letting their customers down in fundamental ways that left me clutching my head in awe.

First off was the big news of the new ‘winner’ when it comes to the one bank that people trust the least in the UK. Congratulations Barclays – you are the weakest link, according to the latest consumer poll, and on top of that you left your closest competitor in the dust, mate!

RBS, the second-runner up in receiving the dubious honours of least trusted bank in Britain, had shedloads of votes in the survey. Despite that, Barclays absolutely crushed it by more than double that figure, easily earning the crown for itself with nearly 20 per cent of the overall vote.

There were four critical comments left for Barclays for every one positive one, which is absolutely terrible by any standard imaginable. Most survey takers reported that the straw that broke the camel’s back for them was the nearly £300 million fine Barclays had to pay after it was revealed that the bank had been involved in a massive Libor rate fixing scandal in 2012, and I can’t blame them in the least!

Meanwhile you don’t need to be a massive high street lender to earn the ire of your customers. In fact sometimes all it takes is to close a branch that was supposedly safe from such activity – and that’s just exactly what Yorkshire Bank is planning with the closure of its Middleton branch, despite the fact that it’s been there for nearly 50 years and leaves the small community with no access to banking without ranging far afield.

The disabled and aged in the Middleton community who rely on their close proximity to the branch will now have to find a way to make the six mile round trip to the next nearest banking branch, because who cares about those people, isn’t that right Yorkshire Bank? The banking provider says that there’s a ‘dwindling’ number of bank patrons, making it less cost-effective to operate the branch, not seeming to care a whit how shuttering its doors would lead to, most likely, the financial death of the little former mining community.

Blimey if these banks don’t care about anything but their own bottom lines. It’s bad enough when they go about cutting interest rates on their savings products and refuse to lend any of their cash out in a Scrooge-like manner, but completely destroying communities crosses a very serious line if you ask me.

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