CONFUSOPOLY or TRANSPARENCY?: UK banks charging as much as 800,000% on overdrafts


For me one of the most telling facts about the “Payday Loans” story is that the Financial Ombudsman receives very few complaints about them yet is swamped by unprecedented numbers of complaints about banking and the wider Financial Services sector!

Calls for regulation of interest rates are understandable and fully justified BUT, across the board. Great quote from Mike Dailly at Govan Law Centre:

“The Romans 2,500 years ago managed to cap lending charges at 8%” 

One thing that strikes me about this aspect of the market is that, at least, the Payday loan companies are TRANSPARENT about equivalent APR which cannot, necessarily, be said of the High Street Banks! Yet it is the banks who talk about customer “relationships” the other is, essentially, transactional. Confusing, isn’t it!? Read more of this post

Lending…”my arse”: Small firms losing out on backing from major banks


Of course I cannot speak for anyone else but once I hear these words “The BBA said…” I feel instantly tense and irritated. I can only think that it is something to do with an intense dislike of being treated like an idiot. Particularly, by an organisation intent upon defending the indefensible at the expense of individuals and companies without whom they would be unable to continue to ply their trade.

I can remember the first time I felt this way. It was in the late 80’s when the then Manager of my local RBS told me that the branch was to close. It had come as a bit of a shock to him (an absolute gentleman by the name of Brain Peach) but he was “of an age” that he wasn’t too stressed about it – the same could not be said for all of his staff. To say that he was less than convincing when he delivered the HO message would be a sweeping understatement, can you figure out why?:

“In an effort to improve the service to local businesses, this branch is closing…”

I was much less cynical then but still marvelled at what I was being asked to believe. Nowadays, the banks have turned “opacity” and “spin” into a very expensive artform practised amongst themselves as well as with Regulators an customers!

Jim Royle
Image by Commonorgarden via Flickr

…the FSB also criticised the practice of some banks of calling in business loans, renewing them, and calling them “new lending”

…The Bank of England figures show lending to SMEs was £18.8bn in the third quarter, down from £20.5bn in the second quarter but higher than the first quarter’s £16.8bn. The BBA said the Merlin banks are “on track to meet their business lending commitments”. Defending the SME shortfall, it says: “The overall economic environment remains challenging and business demand remains weak.”

via Small firms losing out on backing from major banks – Herald Scotland | Business | Corporate & SME.