So reader beware – these are anecdotes, and it may be that the friends who had these experiences are the exception. I wasn’t going to write about it on my blog, but then Gordon decides to launch Labour’s wake with announcements he’s going to crush the bankers and make them lend responsibly and increase their capital reserve requirements. The hypocrisy of it made me angry enough to post.
About a month ago I was talking to a friend, who banks with Nat West (owned by RBS, thus Nationalised) about their experience the last time they popped into their local branch. My friend is unemployed – no job, no income – and what did they offer him? That’s right! They offered him a credit card and a loan. He told them no. He said, you know, I’m unemployed and the last thing I need is a credit card.
But, they said, it’s got a 6 month payment holiday. You won’t have to start paying it back for 6 months!
Yes, he said. But I’m still unemployed.
Maybe that’s just Nat West, so let’s cross over the High Street to Lloyds – another Nationalised bank – where another friend attempts to take out a 3k business loan. The advisor tells them that they’re actually “entitled” to 15k. I only need 3k, they say. You can have 15k though, the advisor insists, shocked that anyone would turn down “free money”. Are you sure you don’t want more, he asks? They’re then told that ‘to buy a business’ isn’t a valid excuse for this particular type of loan, so if anyone asks they should say it’s to buy a sofa. They say, “it’s to buy a sofa” and the advisor winks and says, “that’s fine then.”
These are the Nationalised banks, doing business in the very worst possible way. And, you know what? We’ve invited this. The banks can’t fail. They know they can’t fail. Offering credit to absolutely anyone, without considering whether or not they have the means to pay it back, is perfectly fine when you know the taxpayer’s underwriting bad debts, and positively essential when you have Government stooges on the board of directors demanding you increase the amount of lending you’re doing in order to ‘save the economy’.
The economy’s not been saved. We’ve just dumped even more credit into people’s hands (by printing money to buy crap from the banks), postponing the inevitable until after the General Election.
Please, people, don’t reward Gordon for this. I’m begging you.