Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/483/2325
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.
In The Socialist 19 April 2007:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis