A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Greedy Bankers!

Does honesty pay today? Not if you're involved with the banks! They seem to have adopted an attitude based on avarice rather than honest service. They try to sell us loans, mortgages, and insurances in ways that are not always for our good. We are seen as useful sources for taking more of our money for their purposes!

A certain Mr. Smith of Aberdeen, Scotland was in his bank branch collecting some money for his taxi business. Perfectly natural day for him! He asked for £60,000 and duly went to put the cash in his office safe. Wow! He found the bank had made a mistake and given him an extra £40,000! It was too much he thought, an error, so he would take it back! Good man!

What was his reward for his honesty? He wasn't looking to make out of it, but he expected better than a cheap meal! Where was this meal to be had? In a greasy diner frequented by underpaid bank clerks?

Now these actions raise further questions. The bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, seemed to take the view that it was of no consequence. They had already written it off as a bad debt. A very fast bad debt!! It would seem that they had impugned Mr Smith's character by privately thinking him to be a dishonest moneygrubber! They also appeared disinterested in finding out what had happened! "When I went back to the bank, the woman said she couldn't believe I was coming back in with the cash because they had written it off as gone," Mr Smith recalled.

Money! When you've got so much what is £40,000! Small potatoes, no doubt! And the RBS made pre-tax earnings for the year to December 2004 of £6.9bn ($13.1bn).

Captain Mainwaring, where are you?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4293167.stm http://home.btconnect.com/howejam/dadsarmy/bios/characters/da_gm.htm


This is what is known as Mistake of Fact - the posh name for a cock up.

The bank can't take legal action over mistake of fact. The money paid in error is rightfully the banks and they are entitled to pursue the beneficiary of the mistake according to the law. However, if the beneficiary refuses to repay the money, the bank cannot seek legal recompense in a court of law. In fact, aggresive collection is frowned upon by the courts and the beneficiary can often successfully sue the bank or collection agent for harassment.

Banks don't always get it their way. ;-)

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