Don’t trust the banks

Old people used to keep large quantities of cash under the bed, claiming it was to pay tradesmen. It seemed odd because banking was easy in those days. You went down your high street and saw a branch manager, who knew you by name. He kept your money for as long as you wanted and even paid some interest.

Today the branch has closed, and the friendly manager retired to the grave. For your convenience there is telephone and internet banking to help you deposit cash. When you do, the bank regards it as a suspicious transaction, and threatens to suspend the account that you are paying for. Three years pass. In the absence of interest payments, you consider spending the money so contact the bank only to be told that the account is dormant. To reactivate it you must prove your identity using various security procedures designed by the bank for your protection. You really can’t be bothered so you leave it for longer.

Fifteen years later you desperately need the money. The advisor, not the same advisor because they only hold a post for fifteen months on average, tells you that the money has been claimed by the British Government and donated to a charity of their choice. This is the same government that is heavily in debt and unable to fund a decent health service. In vain you protest about theft, saying that you never agreed to hand over the money and that prefer to pick your own charity. The bank relents and allows you to withdraw most of the money, minus their transaction fees. They send you a cheque, although you requested cash.

Eventually, via a fee, you have the notes in your possession. You spend some on a box and put the rest inside. Then you clear a space under the bed and finally understand  why the previous generation didn’t trust banks.

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