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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Student's £100bn overdraft shock

The bank described the terrible blunder as a "technical error". Donald Moffat is a student from Irvine, Ayrshire and he was left in a state of shock when his online banking statement showed him to be overdrawn by almost £100bn. I must admit I'm a tad apprehensive when I go online. Not because of anything I've done, but because of all the stories you hear.

Barclays is the bank in question here. Mr. Moffat says he had "been passed from pillar to post" after making the error known to the bank. Of course, the problem is that banks offer a nonetity servicethese days. There are no bank managers, just managers of the bank. So the average person gets the runaround from Calcutta and back.

Mr.Moffat talks about stress, but I would be wary about campaigning for compensation. What we need to campaign for is better communication with bank staff. It's no good having jobsworths in the front line, however pleasant they may be, if they are never allowed to use their brains to sort things out. I find it can take a good hour to do ten minutes when the telephone comes into play. It's not much better in the branch.

Maybe we could have a summit where all the banks and customer representatives get to decide want we really want. Otherwise I'm distinctly afraid that 2009 will be more of the same. Considering that this whole credit crunch is some huge "technical error" - nobody is to blame we are told - it will be to the benefit of all to start the process of change from a clean sheet!


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