Thursday, April 12, 2007

Banking for the rich alone.

There has been a furore in Canford Cliffs because the local branch of HSBC bank is in future to provide a counter service only for customers who make use of their Premier service. To do this you must have £50,000 in savings or a £200,000 mortgage or a salary in excess of £75,000.

Canford Cliffs is the expensive part of Bournemouth (to be accurate it is part of next-door Poole). This branch serves Canford Cliffs, Branksome Park and Sandbanks, the most affluent part of our conurbation. Most people who live there are millionaires. There are some retired folk who are living on a fixed pension who are property-rich but income-poor.

Now I don't see the problem. Nobody would expect the Rolls Royce showroom which is next door but one to stock Fords for the less well off. If a bank wants to provide a service for its rich customers why should it not? It's not as though it is the only bank in the village; there is a LLoyds bank just across the street. Message to poorer HSBC customers. Change your bank. It's called competition and without it capitalism doesn't work.


Anonymous said...

Maybe the bank could make this change slowly. Allowing the clients that are there now, to stay. For example...
the land rich, money poor people, that have banked and lived in the area for their lives. But only allow people with the amount of money the bank requires to start banking there. I know small accounts are costly and a bother for banks as compared to more hearty accounts.It sounds as though those people with less income will not be moving or staying forever in that place.Where I live, Charlottesville, VA. the town has so
much wealth, the real estate prices and taxes are starting to squeeze out the middle class. I don't like it because I feel bad for the people that have to relocate but it is just reality.No matter if we like it or not,not everyone is going to be exactly the same nor have the same amount of money.Money,like other things, has always caused separations and always will, it just is.I may be wrong,but this is sort of like private schools and country clubs.It will appeal to some and not to others, that can afford to bank there.Then some people just can't and know it,
really do they want to be there? Most people I know including me, rarely have to go to a bank.Online banking is much easier.In my town, knowing your local bankers is in the past.Private banking is done in larger cities and then you pick up the phone,can do it in your pjs.Now that is banking!
Just my thoughts on this subject.
Carlin c.

Terry Hamblin said...

The situation is even more complicated. HSBC have small branches and large branches. In their small branches they have no counter staff, only ATMs and deposit letter boxes. Anyone can make a deposit or get cash. In their large branches they have counter staff who will accept money or cash checks. You can even pay bills there. In the UK current accounts are free. They pay a low interest rate on your money, and charge you when you go into the red, but they don't charge for checks or handling your salary or standing orders or direct debits. Moreover if you choose to pay your bills by standing order or direct debit you usually get a discount. All in all you get a good free service from high street banks. If you are rich then you may need extra services from a bank - investment advice for example. For this extra service you have to pay. Usually there is a fee of about $20 a month and you are assigned a personal banker you can ring up. Of course he will try to sell you the bank's products which may not be the best buy. But these sorts of premium accounts have some advantages like sweeping up money you don't need in a current account into a savings account where the interest is higher. Generally speaking, people who aren't rich don't want these services. Premier banking is available in the large branches of HSBC. Because there are so many rich people in Canford Cliffs they are introducing this service into their small branch there.

People who aren't rich also want to see bank staff face to face, but usually not very often. To arrange an mortgage or some other kind of loan, perhaps. They never could do this in a small branch of HSBC, they would have to use a different bank or go into one of the two large branches of HSBC in Poole or one of the 3 large branches in Bournemouth. That's five large branches within 7 miles.

To read some of the comments on the internet you would think that banking is a nationalized service paid for out of general taxation. Businesses are in business to make a livelihood. Some have suggested that this is a form of prejdice against poor people that ought to be outlawed like racism and sexism. The alternative is socialism, which is a form of prejudice against everybody without discrimination.

Anonymous said...

In mid-2003 HSBC became the first UK High Street lender to offer homebuying products in compliance with Sharia (Islamic) law, which prohibits the charging or payment of interest. The range now includes a bank account and home insurance policy (Takaful) as well as home finance.

I assume this is for rich muslims.