Monday, April 14, 2008

Bounce This!

Dear St George Bank

I have been banking with you since my first pay packet was electronically credited to my Freedom (ha!!) account in 1975. Whilst my balance has never been much at the end of the month I have never in all these years had a dishonoured cheque. In 1988 I received an insurance payout of $350,00 which sat in my account for a number of months until invested. For that short time, I was a "Gold Client" and received unwanted attention from your 'private bankers'. My children were given birthday cards and I received a very nice Christmas card for investing so much in my account.

The following 10 years saw a number of long term deposits and investments and the greeting cards continued. As my fortunes changed, I no longer have long term investments with you. I pay fees to withdraw from your ATMs, I pay fees for the priviledge of paying my bills online, I pay fees just because you 'keep' my account, I even pay to talk to one of your absent minded non-English speaking tellers.

Today, my farrier rang, as embarrassed as I, because you dishonoured a $70 cheque a nanosecond prior to my pay being deposited and charged him $10 for the privelidge. You know, that I get paid on the 15th of the month. You know that cheques take up to 5 days to clear yet you dishonoured the cheque immediately upon presentation. You are also to be commended for having the attention span to seize that brief window of opportunity and debiting my already negative account of $45 that I didn't have, due to the inconfuckingvenience caused to your bank.

Last month, you paid your shareholders a dividend, your profits have been unhurt by the sub prime mortgage scandals. You are fucking closed until 9.00 am and again at 5.00 so that honest working people can't get there during the day and you even charge me to spend my entire lunch hour queueing with snotty nosed, small children, covered in soggy rusk and swinging like apes from your cord barricade and some old duck farting around changing her one pound sterling for small change so that she can pay the bus fare home.

You are sycophantic pricks of the highest order. I don't mind paying a dishonour fee but the least you could do is cover a cheque presented one day before my pay is transferred or dishonour it after the four day clearing period. I know why you do it because you cock suckers manage to eek $2.6 billion in dishonour fees each year. It's a business in it's own right. Then you dickwads have the nerve to offer me more credit on my Master Card which has since been cut therapeutically into a thousand tiny pieces and stuffed in your night safe!

I didn't charge you when you made that mistake and banked my cheque with the opposition. I didn't get all rambunctions and pugnacious when you stuffed up my tax deposit. I didn't even hit the guy behind the glass who said they don't do foreign exchange on Wednesdays cos they're too busy with Age Pension transactions (I would have if the little prick wasn't standing behind a crash screen). I didn't complain after a number of your automatic tellers devoured my card for no reason. I didn't complain when I was cold-called by one of your fucking insurance agents which is completely against the law.

I am no longer banking with you. I am joining a credit union. They do not charge account keeping fees, they do not charge to use their ATMs. I know of one that is open at 8am and doesn't close until 6 and is open all day Saturday. They don't charge me to stand in the queue or talk to a helpful person not wearing a daft red artist's bow and their shareholders are the very people who bank with them i.e. ME!

So stick that up your green dragon's water-tight arse and smoke it.

If I wasn't bothered by a sticky end I'd have a go at this:


Thriftcriminal said...

Good one, jeez, I must get me a pair of those things, they are cool. Mind you, I think I'm past the age limit of the target demographic, and if I was younger I'd be going for a spot or par-corps - those guys are nuts.

Good for you, the more people use credit unions the more the benefit goes to local communities, rather than globalisation and the over-all rape of the planet. The whole concept is much better, it's focused on people, not profit. Good to see you've got your bounce back.

Ryan said...

mm, im starting to lean the same way now that i can't pretend i'm a student anymore. although, every st george branch in a 10km radius from you is open sat mornings ;)

Baino said...

Thrifty: I am the Chumbawumba chick. I get down but I get up again! (never gonna keep me down) *can't believe she just said that* I am so pissed at my bank. I used to be in the Police Credit Union and they were fantastic! Rage against the machine says the mouse who roared.

Ryan: OK a bit of dramatic license but who wants to bank on a Saturday and seriously, it's only been the last 10 years since they've opened outside normal working hours. what really shat me was that Adam was charged for an over the counter transaction at Norwest! Fwoooarrr

Nick said...

Fortunately in the UK banks are (slightly) more civilised and don't charge for any of those things as long as you stay in credit. In fact I haven't paid any bank charge since I got my first bank account in 1967, except to set up a standing order or direct debit. The bare-faced nerve of charging you to process your own money! Changing to a credit union sounds like an excellent and subversive alternative.

Melissa said...

Good for you! All those fees and silly hours (we deal with much the same with our bank) make you want to claw your eyes out ... or someone else's!

Brianf said...

It was 20 December 1996 and I took a check for $10,000 to my bank. The bank i had banked at for over 20 years. I wanted to deposit it and get $500 back in cash to do my Christmas shopping. The teller told me he couldn't do that because of the size of the check and the fact that I only had $300 in my checking account. After going round and round with him I asked to see the branch manager. After jousting with him he said he would do it but hold the check for 20 business days. I thought about that for a brief moment and said, "I have a better idea. Let's close all my accounts instead"
When all was said and done he handed me a check for over $50,000 and I left a dollar in one savings account so they would have to print a statement and mail it to me every month. I have been through 3 banks since and 2 years ago found one that treats one fairly.

Terence McDanger said...

Baino 1
Bwankers 0.


ian said...


You could, of course, follow the example of our beloved departing Taoiseach who in the 1990s when he was a leading government minister had no bank account. ;-)

Baino said...

Nick: Well technically I wasn't in credit but they charge through the nose. My ATM card is actually a Visa debit card so that I don't get charged EFTPOS fees. All the banks do it, it sux. I'm sure they'll miss me! Not!

Melissa: Too right. I know they're running a business but all these 'little' fees add up to quite a lot at the end of the day. I mean 2.6b on dishonour fees alone!

Brian: Good point but if I left $1 in the account, they'd charge me for a paper statement. Seriously! 20 days to clear a cheque? I thought 5 was excessive.

Terrence: 'bwankers' hahaha. I'm nicking that one!

Ian: Since I earn no interest due to the pathetic state of my account at the end of the month, I might as well keep it under the bed! Unfortunately, I can't pay cash for my 'utilities and insurances' so an account of some sort is a necessary evil.

Quickroute said...

Before I took this career break I'm on I worked for a bank so i know all the dirty tricks they play - even to their own employees!

I have to disagree with Nick - UK banks are notoriously bad at overcharging and in fact the customers have been successfully fighting back - See here - you might want to consider the same - you can google template letters for the purpose

Anonymous said...

I want a pair of those fly jumpers! Good for you Baino! I've had an account with St George for the same length of time but unfortunately it's the last one left because stuck it to the others one by one!

Nonny said...

Ahhh Baino the fuckers, the absolute cheek of them. You are dead right, they don’t give a shit about all the years of service, the hassle they put you through over the years. They have no sense of customer loyalty but above all they have no morals, shame on them. THE BASTARDS!

I have a number of bank accounts but one particular bank I sometimes issue chq’s that should bounce, not on purpose mind, just sometimes down to bad management, the money arrives the next day or two. One thing I can tell you I don’t have bank charges, I am never charged for ATM use or paying bills on line and the always honour my chq’s. I LOVE YOU PERMANENT TSB, don’t ever change!!

You should change. Go to the Credit Union.

Baino said...

Quickroute, thanks for that. It stirred me to look for something local and CHOICE a consumer affairs organisation here are actually lobbying the senate to stop this. I sent my submission this morning!

Anonny: you really will fly wid da birdies . . .I'm going for a credit union, they still charge some fees but nowhere near as much.

Ah Nonnypoo! Permanent TSB . .I wonder if I can open an offshore account!