Sunday, 21 August 2011

Forcing the issue with RBS

URGENT UPDATE 25.08.11 - e-petition re Royal Bank of Scotland's ATM charges - it's our money...

I am bored. I am bored to tears of Financial Services firms screwing every last penny out of taxpayers, who are becoming increasingly vulnerable by the minute. This week’s defining moment was the news that the Royal Bank of Scotland intends to charge its basic bank account customers for using any ATM that it does not own.

Since approximately 1989, I have held some form of basic savings or current account, with variations on a theme of Link, Electron and Visa giving me automated access to my money. The deal, as I understood it, was that the Bank or Building Society needed my money, along with that of millions of others, to ensure that transactions took place.

As the agency holding vast numbers of customer accounts, the Bank or Building Society was in a position to lend - their job, simply to keep an eye on the funds coming in and out, in order to determine the amounts made available for a return on investment. It was a bit tricky at times, which is why interest rates reflected the risk involved.

So, what happened?

Well, it seems the economists forgot that without people, there is no money, and growth became the Holy Grail. I am informed, by those “qualified” to do so, that I am ignorant in these matters because an economy can grow without substance - a characteristic it shares with cancer, it seems. Not entirely convinced that this is either correct or healthy, I determine to keep my own mind.


As money reigned supreme - the currency with which we access shelter, warmth, food and drink - its curators, recognising these resources as limited, realised that they had lent too much. Some who had borrowed more than they could afford recognised this also and began paying down debt, whilst others needed to borrow more so they could brave the storm.

With so much accounting for resources that simply did not exist, the politicians were persuaded to print more money. This was of course, the loan to end all loans, complete with a Team GB of millions all bailing like billy-ho, through taxation, shorter hours and redundancies, anything and everything with all hands on deck. But like any long trip, the kids became tired and cried:

Are we there yet?

Far from offering any assurance, the curators of lost wealth simply lashed out, scoffing all the travel sweets and raiding every piggy bank for more. They picked on the small kids first, calling them names and breaking their toys. Then, realising these tots had nothing, they turned on the know-it-alls, who had helped them. Finally, with no children left “for the journey” they turned on each other. 

Banking as we know it is a dinosaur. It is morally, socially and economically bankrupt and making our lives a misery. The longer we choose to believe that this Emperor wears clothes, the greater our suffering will be. It is not big or clever to deprive people of their livelihoods, and charging the most vulnerable for withdrawals is just the start. It is our money and we have worked for it.

I for one am not about to allow some bonus-obsessed bankwit to rob us of our future and I urge you not to do so either. May OUR force be with US.


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