Transparency: it is the only thing that banks CANNOT afford


Time for a reality check methinks!

Retail banking in the UK is not competitive enough, a Commons Treasury committee report has concluded.

The cross-party group of MPs said there was a lack of price transparency between current accounts at different banks and it was too difficult for customers to move their accounts.

The committee said similar barriers existed for small business customers.

The British Bankers’ Association said the industry was working with regulators to improve competition.

via BBC News – Retail banks not competitive, says Treasury committee.

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BBA aren’t even apologists for a morally bankrupt and financially corrupt industry. As the “clever” words form and lips move the lack of any soul or remorse is consistently betrayed by the dead-eyed delivery of an organisation, well versed at lying without conscience and defending the indefensible.

Why no culture of customer service?

In true Freakonomics style: How many drug dealers have you heard of who have a mission statement or customer charter?

Why invest in engendering loyalty when customers armed with the facts can be so demanding and fickle? Alternative: tap in to the pop culture for instant gratification. Create dependence by selling the lie of “financial independence”. There may not be much difference in the upfront cost of either but dependence is far more lucrative (call the tune and watch ’em dance!) and even more reliable than inertia.

After all, the last thing you would want is a level (or transparent) playing field because the only person that benefits is the “user”.

The “dope squad” (or FSA) turned a blind-eye to the activities because it paid them and their paymasters to do so and their pay-off was sufficient to fuel the myth of prosperity whilst funding a Public Sector spending spree!

So the drug that was distributed by the Crimelords’ extensive network of High Street dealers and shady intermediaries was DEBT that now could be legally disguised as: freely available; cheap; unlimited; interest free, CREDIT was what a consumerist junkie craved above all else. But to mask such a sordid enterprise requires a plausible cover story and an increasingly complex legal and regulatory framework over which an opaque veil can be thrown. But, once started down that path, both time and scale require layer after layer of opacity until the only way to sustain the whole rotten enterprise is to add more an more structure.

Collapse is inevitable.

Global banking (in particular those in UK and USA), successfully, lobbied, bullied, mislead, misinformed and “influenced” their way to positions of power…”absolute power”. Manipulating and stage-managing key Geo-political events across the globe in their, relentless, greed-fuelled, pursuit of individual and collective wealth.

Unfortunately, when the extent to which they had bled their nations and customers (to serve their own purposes) became apparent, those, whose complicity was confirmed by their active or passive roles – in the process of “relaxing” legal or regulatory powers to satisfy their thirst for tax revenues (to be mismanaged), power and, through that, personal wealth – rendered them powerless to mete-out the punishment that was merited.

“Too big to fail” bailouts may have been a “necessary evil” but NOT AT ANY PRICE. Bailout “yes”, regulatory and cultural change “absolutely”. It hasn’t happened and the weakness of successive Governments betrays the hollowness of their political rhetoric.

UK and USA may  be pretty far removed, geographically, culturally and politically from the troubled regimes of North Africa and Middle East but the means of expression are, already, beginning to “demonstrate” the considerable and growing levels of discontentment within the populous.

The historical patterns, associated with the actions of “elites” whose man-made complexity (in the form of opacity) can only collapse before it is replaced by more equitable structures, are already known and documented by, such as, Joseph Tainter and Jared Diamond. I suspect that, in UK, this is the thinking behind devolving “centralised power” to a local level – “Big Society” – but the fatal flaw is that, with this, cynical, “top-down” approach, the rotten core remains and will continue to drain resource to sustain itself first.

As nature eloquently displays, this is not the path to a sustainable and resilient future…without, first, some serious pruning!

3 Responses to Transparency: it is the only thing that banks CANNOT afford

  1. Transparency in banking: not just an British oxymoron – this article tells of a hard-fought battle to get access to information about US banks that applied for Discount-Window loans http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-31/federal-reserve-releases-discount-window-loan-records-under-court-order.html

  2. “The City” gives no scope for any public confidence:

    Mis-selling…

    “The Financial Services Authority has hit Barclays with a record 7.7 million pound fine for mis-selling two income investment products to more than 12,000 clients who lost money during the financial crisis.” [January 2011]
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLNE70H03B20110118

    And Insider dealing?

    A City banker who amassed almost £600,000 through insider trading with his wife and a friend has been jailed for three years and four months.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12345373

  3. I have read several books and numerous articles around the subjects covered in this documentary (although my interest covered by UK and US…although it was a case of follow the leader!).

    This is, frankly, gob-smacking…even to me…and reinforces what I believed to be the case, since late 90’s, as the “energy” was being built-up for THE bubble. PLEASE watch it all and make your own mind up:

    http://www.megavideo.com/?v=N4BDVCO8

    David

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