Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Sunday, 14 September 2014

'Shut up and take my money!'


I just want to open a savings account. Today.

I do not want to be assigned an interview three days hence with a 'customer welcoming operative' or whatever you call that bored, over-groomed harpy in the corner drumming her talons on the pseudo-Scandinavian office furniture.

Neither do I wish to be given details of your online banking service. If that suited my needs, I would be sitting comfortably at home instead of bandying words with an intellectual eunuch amid a festival of slogan-ridden posters depicting happily grinning customers who, I can only assume, hail from some alternate universe where your bank actually provides a decent service.

Smartphone banking? My phone is not smart. It hasn't a clue. It's a mindless half-wit; in fact, the two of you seem to have a lot in common.

Is it really so difficult? I just want to park a few spare quid where I can get at it, preferably earning interest somewhere near the current inflation rate. I have no desire for 'solutions' or 'advantages' or 'plus accounts' and you aren't going to impress me with complimentary magazine subscriptions and theatre booking services either; ultimately it's still the customer who pays.

And now you know what I'm after, it's clear I'm not the sort of customer you want. It's odd, isn't it? A cheque to deposit - yes, some of us still use them - and yet you are giving me the sort of brush-off your predecessors would once have saved for an habitual defaulter asking for yet more credit.

So you stand there, a symphony in StayNew polyester with a face to match, and tell me 'there's no one available today', even though there are more staff in here than there are customers. Having established that I don't want any of your myriad complex 'financial products' and 'packaged accounts' - sales targets to meet, perchance? - you have clearly decided I am not worth bothering about and I can tell you the feeling is mutual.

In fact, here's an idea; why don't you take your Ultimate Privilege Platinum Flexi Select Classic Account package complete with fringe benefits and transfer it to a location about your person utterly devoid of solar activity?"

...is what I wish I'd said, instead of smiling politely, accepting a business card and walking away, never to return.

(This is a follow-on post to 'The bank that likes to say "F*** off!"'.)


  1. I have found that staring eyes a faked twitch and saying "they've just released me" works quite well.

  2. "I just want to park a few spare quid where I can get at it, preferably earning interest somewhere near the current inflation rate."

    Me too - your experience sounds much like ours. Maybe these people all go on the same training courses.

  3. Perhaps you're right, Demetrius - either that or going in done up the the nines.

    AKH, I suspect their outlook is limited and shaped by their training, but the comments on the 'branch sales league table' I once glimpsed through an open door suggest that they are also serving their own interests by operating a ruthless triage system to weed out less susceptible customers.

  4. Is there anything else I can help you with today, Macheath...?

  5. Can't have been Santander. They're much worse than that...

  6. Dioclese, I should own up and say that the bank depicted is actually an amalgam of several I visited while trying to find a new home for my modest savings - and that Santander may well have played a part.