Banks – daylight robbery?

Banks, love ’em, hate ’em, rob ’em they are here and here they will stay. We know we have readers on NCFP who fall into all three categories.

We cannot function without Banks. The world is a smaller place thanks to modern travel and Banks. People and money can travel round the world so quickly it makes the mind boggle. Of course the two go together. Without people there would be no need for Banks.

Here in the TRNC we have good Banks and not so good Banks. Banks who apply due diligence without the need for a law to make them do it. Banks who apply sound banking practices simply because they know it is the right thing to do. Then there are the others. I am not suggesting the TRNC is the only country with, shall we say, less than diligent Banks. That would be unfair and untrue, but of course, I have not had the awful personal experience anywhere else in the world, it happened to me here.

I am of an age where I remember wage packets with real money, when if you did not have a Bank account it made no difference. I remember when ‘cash was King’. I have lived long enough now where that old saying is just a distant memory. In the UK now you have to have a Bank account to receive your wages/salary, even to receive your pension. Gone are the days when you could queue up at the post office and receive your pension/family allowance/disability benefit in good old cash. I expect it is now the same, or similar, in most countries. I am told it is called progress.

In achieving this progress we have also handed the Banks huge responsibilities but have we also handed them too much power? Certainly here in the TRNC the perception is that by applying laws that were brought in to protect the Banking sector, these same laws are being used by the Banks to silence the press and the victims of property scams. Is this an example of giving Banks to much power?

You and I use the banks to function on a day by day basis. We access our money by using the facilities they provide, whether to pay our utility bills, our debts on our various cards or draw cash from ‘the hole in the wall’. It works well and the young amongst us will remember no other way. In some countries Banks are taken to task when they get greedy and then the Ombudsman is called in. In other less ‘progressed countries’ they are getting away with daylight robbery.

Talking of robbery, where there is money, there is crime. The most violent of which is ‘armed robbery’ Some of these robbers will have you believe that robbing a Bank is a victimless crime. There is no such thing as a ‘victimless crime’. Somewhere along the line, someone pays and that someone is usually you and me. Banks raise their charges, Insurance companies their premiums. Someone has to pay and it rarely is the Bank or the Insurance Company.

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