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Britain: a nation of whiners (except during the Olympics)

Which? Magazine stirred up the old debate about free banking
yesterday, by publishing a report which shattered the image of free banking being free.

They asked over 2,000 consumers how they felt about banks
and more than 60% of those surveyed said they had paid a bank charge that they
thought was "unfair, hidden or disproportionate".

They continued to push the point by saying that overdraft
fees were massively punitive with some banks charged up to £900 a year for
being overdrawn for just a couple of days a month.

Mwah, mwah, mwah.

I was commenting about this on one radio show where they had
a case study of a man who had gone overdrawn by just  45 pence and ended up with charges running to
almost £100 as a result.

Boo, hoo, hoo.

Another chap was saying he was rubbish with money and didn’t
know when he was going overdrawn and how much it would cost.

GET THE BANK’S MOBILE APP, SMS TEXT ALERTS AND REGULARLY
CHECK YOUR BALANCE ONLINE IF YOU’RE THAT RUBBISH WITH MONEY.

Jeez, I can’t stand all these moaning mingers in Britain who
just whine on and on about how bad banks are when they’re getting a ‘free
service’.

Now there is a big debate brewing in the UK that says banks
will need to charge for accounts and free banking will end, but the real point
is that we all know nothing is free.

If you have a bank account in the UK, you know that you get
zero interest on credit balances because that funds your account.

If you have a bank account in the UK, you know that you get
stung with charges if you go overdrawn because your account is set up not to go
overdrawn.

If you want flexibility in your account so you can go overdrawn
regularly, then pay for it.

So stop crying about bank charges and get on with life.

p.s. it would be nice to have a little transparency over
charges however, and perhaps a little more warning about what fees you pay.

p.p.s. note that back in May, the Bank of England made
noises
 about regulating to end ‘free banking’, so it’s going to disappear anyway.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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8 comments

  1. The great problem with “free” banking is that no one values a free service. Look at the National Health Service and all the whining that goes on about it.
    Forever the Banks have allowed product cross subsidization not only with each the customer and their services, but across types of customer, so that business and personal profitability differs substantially. When the veil is lifted, the ensuing confusion is massive since everyone who has been receiving a “free” service feels hard done by. Look to the “M” generation, today’s 18 to 31 year olds who expect to receive everything for free, including digital music, software downloads, games, apps and the kitchen sink and wonder who is right.
    As bank profitability erodes further and as the great Chinese revolution continues to grow, consider that the Chinese are also no great respecter of copyright and yet without profit, where is the buffer to give the confidence that your bank will not go bust shortly and regulators can become even more skittish than they are today.
    So yes, apart from fresh air, there is precious little left today that is free, so breathe deeply and enjoy before government tax that too!!

  2. Christopher David Chairman the WDA /ADC

    Banking isn’t free. The NHS isn’t free unless your a free loader. So that’s the comments above shot down. Banks are taking the mick. We need banks with the FS systems we have in the world. It only Governments were efficient instead of being the time wasting, money wasting inefficient org’s they are the we would have a real case for nationalisation. Nat West for example sold two of my business accounts whilst I was abroad after moving them from Wales to Scotland. Nether time was I asked or gave permissions. Then made me re-open new accounts messing the whole thing up and rendering me effectively bank-less. Now they are going to get a bill, which they won’t pay,

  3. Christopher David Chairman the WDA /ADC

    Banking isn’t free. The NHS isn’t free unless your a free loader. So that’s the comments above shot down. Banks are taking the mick. We need banks with the FS systems we have in the world. It only Governments were efficient instead of being the time wasting, money wasting inefficient org’s they are the we would have a real case for nationalisation. Nat West for example sold two of my business accounts whilst I was abroad after moving them from Wales to Scotland. Nether time was I asked or gave permissions. Then made me re-open new accounts messing the whole thing up and rendering me effectively bank-less. Now they are going to get a bill, which they won’t pay,

  4. Christopher David Chairman the WDA /ADC

    Banking isn’t free. The NHS isn’t free unless your a free loader. So that’s the comments above shot down. Banks are taking the mick. We need banks with the FS systems we have in the world. It only Governments were efficient instead of being the time wasting, money wasting inefficient org’s they are the we would have a real case for nationalisation. Nat West for example sold two of my business accounts whilst I was abroad after moving them from Wales to Scotland. Nether time was I asked or gave permissions. Then made me re-open new accounts messing the whole thing up and rendering me effectively bank-less. Now they are going to get a bill, which they won’t pay,

  5. Christopher David Chairman the WDA /ADC

    Banking isn’t free. The NHS isn’t free unless your a free loader. So that’s the comments above shot down. Banks are taking the mick. We need banks with the FS systems we have in the world. It only Governments were efficient instead of being the time wasting, money wasting inefficient org’s they are the we would have a real case for nationalisation. Nat West for example sold two of my business accounts whilst I was abroad after moving them from Wales to Scotland. Nether time was I asked or gave permissions. Then made me re-open new accounts messing the whole thing up and rendering me effectively bank-less. Now they are going to get a bill, which they won’t pay,

  6. Christopher David Chairman the WDA /ADC

    Banking isn’t free. The NHS isn’t free unless your a free loader. So that’s the comments above shot down. Banks are taking the mick. We need banks with the FS systems we have in the world. It only Governments were efficient instead of being the time wasting, money wasting inefficient org’s they are the we would have a real case for nationalisation. Nat West for example sold two of my business accounts whilst I was abroad after moving them from Wales to Scotland. Nether time was I asked or gave permissions. Then made me re-open new accounts messing the whole thing up and rendering me effectively bank-less. Now they are going to get a bill, which they won’t pay,

  7. Christopher David Chairman the WDA /ADC

    Banking isn’t free. The NHS isn’t free unless your a free loader. So that’s the comments above shot down. Banks are taking the mick. We need banks with the FS systems we have in the world. It only Governments were efficient instead of being the time wasting, money wasting inefficient org’s they are the we would have a real case for nationalisation. Nat West for example sold two of my business accounts whilst I was abroad after moving them from Wales to Scotland. Nether time was I asked or gave permissions. Then made me re-open new accounts messing the whole thing up and rendering me effectively bank-less. Now they are going to get a bill, which they won’t pay,

  8. Christopher David Chairman the WDA /ADC

    Banking isn’t free. The NHS isn’t free unless your a free loader. So that’s the comments above shot down. Banks are taking the mick. We need banks with the FS systems we have in the world. It only Governments were efficient instead of being the time wasting, money wasting inefficient org’s they are the we would have a real case for nationalisation. Nat West for example sold two of my business accounts whilst I was abroad after moving them from Wales to Scotland. Nether time was I asked or gave permissions. Then made me re-open new accounts messing the whole thing up and rendering me effectively bank-less. Now they are going to get a bill, which they won’t pay,

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