Things go from bad to worse to abysmal

Business banking news review: week ending 4 July 2013

There seems to be no end in sight for the bad news bombarding banking customers in the UK – and this week has sadly been no exception!

First up it turns out that free banking is most likely going to be completely eradicated thanks to a new EU plans that will strip away the power of banks to charge retailers a fee every time a debit card or credit card is used to make a purchase. While it doesn’t seem like much, the 34p per transaction charge will now have to be recovered by UK banks themselves, and guess what that means?

Well, if you said, ‘an end to free banking,’ you win the satisfaction of knowing what’s in store for us all.  There’s no way the banks in this country aren’t going to pass these new costs right along to their consumers in the form of new fees – estimates are that it could be as much as £11 per person per year to use a debit card, while credit card use could run you around £25 annually as well, and that’s just the bare minimum at the moment!

Meanwhile if you don’t think that’s bad enough, there’s a brand new banking scandal in the news this week as well. This time it’s the credit derivatives market that was being manipulated by some 13 banks according to EU regulators, and these lenders include major names such as HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays.

According to the European Commission, these 13 banking institutions decided to come together to block two major exchanges – the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Deutsche Börse out of Germany – from operating within the credit default swap market in a move purely motivated by greed. Credit default swaps are incredibly lucrative, what with some £8.5 trillion in contracts having changed hands so far in 2013.

It wasn’t just UK banking institutions implicated by the European Commission, either – firms such as JP Morgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were all found to have been in cahoots over the blackout, and if these allegations bear fruit there could be some incredibly serious fines. We’re talking as much as £3 bilion for Barclays, for example.

I swear this is just getting to be a bit old, all these scandals and demonstrations of base greed and complete lack of accountability, isn’t it? It’s bad enough when we have instances of banking executives netting millions in annual bonuses or banks geting involved in Libor scandals, but it seems like there’s just no end to the depravity of these idiots!

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