British Banks Don’t Want Customers

In today’s world people are more and more relying on bank services. The Internet and the way businesses operate, banking services are an important factor in any countries economy.

The british banks don’t seem to think that way. My experience with them (and many of other people I know of) is pretty puzzling.  British banks don’t want customers!!!!  They don’t want more money!!! Unlike in the USA, banks almost refuse to accept new customers unless that customer proves to them they are going to bring loads of money into the bank either by regular paychecks -of what the banks prefer to see- or by other means, doing regular deposits.

Nowadays with the European Union many people from other Union countries moving to Britain for hoping to make a better living. When they go to a bank trying to open an account they run into a wall that seems almost inprenetable. The banks requiring them to bring passport (which within the Union is not necessary to have), bring in two forms of ID (have to be photo ID) and bring in some utility bills, like phone or electricity, or tax document issued by the British government. These people who have just arrived in the country and renting a room somewhere and not even have jobs yet. No utility bills, no tax documents.

Photo IDs or passport or any other IDs alone are not enough to open a bank account in Britain. The utility bill is the most important part of this process and even if one have all the documentation necessary, that person is not guaranteed to get a bank account not even a basic account that would only entitle them to deposit money into a bank and withdrawals through an ATM machine.

Banks say because of the money laundering laws they have to be stringent. Of course this is not true. Money laundering laws have nothing to do with opening a bank account.  The banks simply only want customers that have a regular paycheck or some sort of regular income where they can profit from. These people will be productive members of society one day if they can overcome  all the hurdles they are thrown at but the banks don’t care at this point what the future will bring.

Finding a job is not easy in Britain. British people are very prejudiced. They don’t want foreigners to achieve success where they are failing so they are not hiring them even if they have job openings. Claiming how would I be able to communicate with them if they don’t speak English. So as a result these people are not getting a job and thus not getting a bank account either. (Eventually they find some  jobs with small companies, that pays them cash instead of depositing the paycheck in the bank.)  If they manage to get an interview with a company they ask if they have a bank account because the paychecks are deposited into a bank account in Britain. If the person have no bank account that’s a negative and very likely not going to get the job because don’t seem to be reliable since he or she can’t even get a bank account.

In Britain everything is payed through a bank. Paychecks are deposited into an account and bills are payed through an account. Paper checks as such are barely gets used and not even available by many banks.

If checks are available, banks limits their usage and charge fees for using them.  Recently a friend of mine moved to the UK and wanted to open a bank account. He is living with us so he doesn’t have a utility bill. He was going to deposit in the bank several thousand euros as an opening amount but the banks refused him saying no regular income coming in. How can they predict the future I have no idea.

We had visited just about all the banks in town. The front desk people were un-trained and un-knowledgeable about their own banks. At the last bank the front desk lady was a bit more negative and she even brought us a leaflet the bank  published saying we can see the requirements in writing. Just reading through it quickly it said it right there the only requirement to open an account is two forms of ID. Either UK or EU photo ID which could be a passport and another photo id. After showing it to her she was trying to get out but had no choice but to give an application and the friend of mine was able to get the bank account after all.

Of course people only get a basic bank account which doesn’t serve them too well because the account and the card that comes with only allows one to withdraw money through an ATM, deposit money into the account or pay bills by direct debit only. No Visa or Master Card usage and no debit card usage and no checks coming with it either. So the account just about worthless in today’s world when people are using their account and card for purchases in stores and through the Internet which this card is not doing.

Arrogantly the banks even tell people if you don’t like it than close your account and find something else. Clearly showing they don’t want to be bothered by customers.

To show how untrained are these front desk persons, one even suggested he brings in a utility bill from his original country. What is a utility bill has to do with qualifying for a bank account with a british bank?

So the result is the brits are losing out on billions of pounds per year because of the banks. All these millions of emigrants are using cash and using them by the billions. They work for cash money, pay everything by cash. The many companies receiving that cash not paying tax on it because what for? The many landlords these people are renting from are getting cash for the rent. The auto repair shops, the service people etc. etc. etc, getting cash and not one of them paying any tax on it because, what for? Cash is cash and they are better off with the cash.

I think the snotty members of parlament should listen to the changing world, the changing needs of the people and the economy and follow up not with fines, but with laws that would allow the people to spend their money and thus creating more revenue for the strugling country.

It’s about time that either the British banking industry change or for foreign banks to move into the UK and change it for them. The laws of the Union allows them to move in and why not make some money in the process?

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