Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

[Bwankers] Account-ability Advice for Banks

Posted by Lex Fear on March 28, 2007

Most blogs we’re so busy discussing the budget last week they missed the BBC’s undercover whistleblower program exposing underhand standard business practices by Barclays Bank. (Barclays was the focus, just like McDonalds was with fast food. And just like Burger King to McDonalds, you can bank on the rest of the industry using the same business ethic).

“A nine-month investigation by BBC reporters working undercover in a leading British bank has revealed a culture of ruthlessness and lies which will shock their customers.” – BBC Whistleblower

Undercover reporter Amanda Egbujo went undercover as an employee of Barclays for 9 months. In that time she witnessed common practices such as:

  • Treating customers with contempt (particularly those who struggled paying/complained about unlawful charges)
  • Lying – illegally claiming to be Account Consultants rather than Sales Monkeys
  • Moving money from accounts – without authority – to gain commission
  • Adding financial products to customer accounts without knowledge- for a monthly charge
  • Refusing customers products they require, but then offering a financial product they do not need.
  • Staff employed with no criminal background checks
  • Fraud accounts set up with relative ease

I asserted this was not just Barclays, and I have my own experience with HSBC, when they decided to cancel my Graduate 0% Interest Overdraft (which stood over £1000), then reinstate the overdraft a year later at a standard 15% interest. This case is currently with the small claims court.

Indeed this week Halifax had to issue an apology for stolen mortgage details. Unlike average joe who has £20-£35 penalties automatically deducted at the end of the month for going over agreed limits, Halifax is given plenty of time to get their act together by the FSA.

I’ve said this before, it’s not legal, it’s not business, it’s immoral and indefensible.

As a Christian, I believe that these corrupt financial institutions will one day have to answer to God:

“If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help. In a lawsuit, you must not deny justice to the poor.” – Exodus 23:5-6

“But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Like a partridge that hatches eggs she has not laid, so are those who get their wealth by unjust means. At midlife they will lose their riches; in the end, they will become poor old fools.” – Jeremiah 17:10-11

“How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.” – Amos 5:10-12

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