Category Archives: Banks & Finance

You Really Have To Separate The Lies From The Truth

Let’s take them one at a time.

BANKS

Darling said, on national television today that all of the banks have said that they will move business south.

The truth is that NONE of them are moving jobs to England. They are considering the possibility of having to be registered in England instead of Scotland, but a registered office is nothing more than that, “A place where the business is registered.” RBOS actually said there would be no jobs moving south in an official letter. So was Darling lying? Yes he was and it is very scary and some people will believe the scare stories.

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Why The Gap Is Closing. Scottish Independence. What They Don’t Want You To Read!

Scotland's assetsI have not written this for pro-independence supporters. This is written for those who are still supporting ‘no thanks’ or undecided. There is a reason the gap is closing and is now only 6 percentage points – it is because the scare tactics are being overcome, one by one.

Better Together (BT) have continually tried to scare Scots over the currency, Europe, pensions, health, savings and oil. As these have been answered, the strength of the no campaign has gradually, but steadily weakened. What I intend to do here is explain why the ‘scares’ are no longer so scary. Scaring as a tactic never works and is the final refuge of those who don’t really have any constructive arguments. If you are undecided or intending to vote no or not vote at all, then can I appeal to you to read this? it will only take five minutes of your time and could affect the rest of your life. Please email me with questions or for any clarification.

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Have they frightened you into voting “no”? Read some of the positives about Scottish Independence below:

Experts agree that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Here’s what just some of them say:

“Even excluding North Sea output and calculating per capita GDP only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment,” said Standard and Poor’s Credit Rating Agency.

“Assuming a geographical allocation of North Sea oil and gas production, the Scottish economy would rank among the top 50 in the world by size of GDP, and would be relatively wealthy, richer than the rest of the UK and in the top 20 countries globally in terms of GDP per head,” said the Financial Times on 2nd February 2014.

“By international standards Scotland is a wealthy and productive country. There is no doubt that Scotland has the potential to be a successful independent nation,” said the Fiscal Commission Working Group.

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Reading Between The Lines Of The First Independence Debate – 5th August 2014

Looking back on this debate after sleeping on it, I am of the opinion that the NO campaign came out on top in the arguments. However, I was, all of the time, expecting Alex Salmond to put in a killer statement. It reminded me of watching Muhammed Ali’s later fights when those who knew his ability from earlier years expected, any moment, for him to lash out a series of unstoppable punches and win the battle. In actual fact he just stayed on the ropes and disappointed the world. It would be sad if the same fate happened to Alex Salmond, but I would not cast doubt on this man’s ability to bounce back until the morning of 19th September 2014.

The Saltire - the national flag of ScotlandWe must remember that this man and his government have done their utmost to protect the Scottish people from the excesses of Westminster cuts, ploughing in money from their allocation to defuse some of the worst of the bedroom tax, boost the spending on care for the elderly, keeping prescriptions free and continuing to make Scotland a good place to do business. If the NO campaign win in the end, the Scots would be foolish to evict Salmond’s efficient and compassionate government. I know many dislike him, hate everything he stands for and would give him a low approval rating, but his government have achieved a huge amount over the past few years.

Why Salmond is in a rut on the currency matter is what really surprises me. He is a very shrewd politician yet he has not taken the obvious route to countering the NO campaign’s currency arguments. Could the answer be below?
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Halifax Bank of Scotland Caught Out In A Deliberate Lie About Legal Requirements!

The lying Halifax Bank of ScotlandThere has been a real step change in the general populace’s view of banks and bankers since the millennium. Prior to that most of us knew who our bank manager was. He was usually a thirty or forty-something with a lot of banking and business experience who would try to keep you or your business upon a sensible path. You could trust them to be consistent and behave responsibly.

Today, you don’t have bank managers, they are relationship managers, graduates in their twenties with absolutely no commercial or business experience. Continue reading

Sorry, Your Insurance Does Not Cover That Damage!

Floods in the south of EnglandThose from outside the UK might not appreciate the flooding problems which have been affecting the south of England.

The Prime Minister is currently talking to insurance companies about how they can help get peoples’ lives back to normal as soon as possible. However, already, flood victims are finding that the insurance policies for which they have paid for years have the most extraordinary exclusions.

One which came to light Continue reading

What More Will These Parasitic Banks Do To Hurt Their Customers?

I read an interesting article at the end of January 2014 in the most dreadful rag, the Daily Mail, which you can find here: The audacity of banks never ceases to amaze.

After reading it I thought back to a sum I drew out of the Bank of Scotland in Drumnadrochit. If the bank behaved like a real bank and still had a bureau de change I wouldn’t have had to have drawn it out in sterling first, but they don’t they dropped the bureau de change as it wasn’t profitable enough – sod the customers! Continue reading

Halifax Bank of Scotland Pisses Off Access Saver Customers

The Bank of Scotland just wrote to us and, interestingly the writer was a Mr Chris Money – talk about putting someone into a job that is going to put everyone’s backs up with a name like that! Mr Money at Halifax Bank of Scotland, part of the Lloyds Banking groupI wonder if it is a fictitious name just for cosmetic purposes, but, if so, it could have been better chosen.

We have an Access Saver Account into which we deposit a monthly sum to cover all the cats’ injections and any illnesses etc. We started it a couple of years ago when Tesco suddenly increased the price of all their pet insurances. Paying into our own pet insurance fund meant that everything would be covered. They don’t tell you the most common cost, pet dentistry, is not covered in pet insurance and you always have to pay the first fifty pounds or so and no annual MOT or injections are covered either. Anyway, with five cats we put £20 a month each into this Access Saver Account and it has built up to just over £2,000 so could now cover quite serious problems if they arose.

So why did the bank write to us? Continue reading

Banks, Bankers & Executive Pay

I have been watching recent events with great interest. The Libor matter is difficult to understand and follow, but almost everything else is straightforward.

So, Libor first. It is quite obvious that there has been collusion between banks in fiddling the interest rate to their own advantage. Within hours of this becoming public the bankers are trying to pin the blame on government. Whether ministers or civil servants were involved is a total red herring. What the banks did was possibly illegal and definitely immoral.

Bob Diamond and other CEOs say that they were not aware of what was happening, yet it had been going on since 2009. These guys, with their multi-million pound salaries and even larger bonuses are supposed to be running the banks. Of course you don’t micromanage everything, that is why you delegate.

So these incompetent, cheating captains of banking did not properly delegate.

Whoever was fiddling the rates must have been someone’s responsibility. Why did he/she not stop it and report it upwards? The chain of command is there for just such eventualities and, in today’s world of unfair dismissal, no one is going to get dismissed for a single mistake, but where it involves the corruption of the system as outlined here, there should be a whole raft of dismissals and, hopefully, prosecutions too. I fear we will get neither and those who have fallen on their swords have spent the last several years building up reserves for themselves equivalent to multiple lottery wins. How good of them to resign and live the rest of their lives in luxury. Chance would be a fine thing.

So, executive pay. How did it get to this state? We all know, expect and probably don’t object to CEOs earning a lot of money, but it is the differential which seems to have gone mad. These guys seem to just vote themselves whatever figure they pluck out of the sky.

A consultant surgeon earns around £120k. Would we object to someone running a 10,000 person business earning double or treble or even quadruple that amount? Probably not if he/she did a great job, but that is not close to the £3,000,000 per annum being paid to these guys. It is silly money and also often linked to millions in extra bonuses and share options. OBSCENE is the only word.

So who will replace Bob Diamond? Someone currently earning 200k? So why not pay him 500k? Why offer millions? It does not make sense. They are playing with shareholders’ and clients’ money in setting these remuneration packages.

How does someone become a Bob Diamond? They are only ordinary guys who have a talent for performing well, but the difference between his ability and also-rans abilities are probably only marginal.

Somehow, executive pay must be capped and Britain should lead the way.

The NatWest saga: well this is just incompetence. When introducing a new or updated computer system what do you and I do? Unless we’re stupid we set up a restore point. So why did these idiots at the bank not set up a restore point.

Then all inputs and outputs are in their own individual files and, with storage costs could be kept for years, separate from the balances. That is how it is done. It means you can go back to the restore point and start again, adding in all the inputs and outputs after the system has been corrected.

Yes banks are big and yes, they have large numbers of customers and millions of transactions, but input and output files are always manageable. They are only data lists and should be independent of any account balances. That is the WHOLE idea!

Somewhere, someone installed that update without taking the precaution of ensuring the system was backed up and could be reinstated. There is no excuse for this and any CEO earning millions of pounds should be tearing heads off the incompetent idiots who allowed all of this to happen.

Frankly, of course, nothing any  of us say or do is going to improve the banks attitude to their customers, that they are just statistics and not real people.

Thanks, banks!

Anyone got a calculator in Westminster?

I was quite pleased to see the personal allowance rise. I think we’ll be about £200 a year better off.

Now how about that Barclays banker with his £5,000,000 bonus. If I calculate it correctly he will be £250,000 better off each year and every year.

Does that sound reasonable to anyone except a Tory chancellor?

Still it will boost the economy as he might buy a £120,000 car instead of a £90.000 car. He could get a holiday cottage in the country with his tax savings over the next two  years. Yes, I can see the logic in that.

My God, the sooner we break away from that shower of shysters in the south, the better!