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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2007

Bank that only serves the rich

IN AN outrageous display of capitalist elitism, HSBC, "the world's local bank", is shutting one of its Dorset branches in the Canford Cliffs area to anyone who does not have more than 50,000 savings, a 200,000 mortgage or a salary of at least 75,000!

This banking group is saying that if you are not rich, you don't deserve the 'privilege' of being able to speak to a bank cashier. They say their reason for doing this is that "not everybody in the world is equal". It would be hard to argue with this, given the systematic inequality that capitalism has wrought on the world in the last few decades, but to use it as justification to further widen the gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' is utterly beyond the pale.

What distresses me is the lack of any remorse or apology to folk who are now forced to travel to other branches (at further cost to themselves) to be able to enjoy the basic level of customer service anyone should be able to expect.

However, in fairness, I should point out that anybody who does not meet the bank's criteria can enjoy the same "Premier" level of service, by paying 19.99 a month!

So not only do HSBC, in common with almost all banks, levy outrageous charges for things like returned direct debits, accidentally going over an overdraft limit, plus shocking levels of interest on our overdrafts. Now they insist that "poorer" customers in Dorset pay an additional regular charge just to talk to cashiers about their own money!

The thin veil of 'community concern' that big business likes to wear in public is being drawn back, perhaps believing that working people are too 'toothless' to shake them from their tower. But HSBC should be wary, or they may find that people have more teeth than they think.

Christian McCormack

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In The Socialist 19 April 2007:

Kick big business out of the NHS

Nurses' fury at cuts and attacks on jobs

NHS London - delivering private health


Socialist Students

Build for national action against fees


Socialist Party election campaign

Election manifesto 2007

Leicester: A principled stand against opportunists

Young socialist standing for Save Huddersfield NHS

Wales manifesto launch

Save our NHS campaign fields five candidates in South Lakes

Nursery cuts campaign launch

Making a difference in Lincoln

Vote Socialist Alternative on 3 May


Socialist Party editorial

RMT victory: Union militancy pays


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Wanted - a new mass party for workers

Campaign for a New Workers' Party Conference


Socialist Party workplace news

Tube workers win big victory over Metronet

Campaigning for a 26,000 minimum wage

Young trade unionists reject New Labour

Greenwich UNISON steps up fight against pay cuts


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela: Will the trade unions give up their independence?

Bush's man at the World Bank in corruption scandal


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bosses' Pension

Blockading Britain's warhead factory

Fighting for the right to walk in the countryside

Cuts reduce advice for the people who most need help

Bank that only serves the rich


 

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