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Bankers and Greed

By Dave Thrifty

If you ask working people what profession is synonymous with greed, 9 out of 10 will say bankers.

If you ask working people what profession is synonymous with greed, 9 out of 10 will say bankers and it is easy to understand why they have acquired this label. Many of the Western World’s workers, especially in Greece are facing up to and wondering what cuts they can make to help them and their families survive the massive social welfare cuts and tax rises brought about mostly by bank excesses and indeed their own southern lifestyle.

At the same time the banks even now a few years after the bail out are trying to hide the bonuses they are paying out at the end of the financial year and insisting that if they don’t pay them many of their top staff, for instance in the UK, will emigrate.

Most people I know would line up to put them on the plane along with all the rest of the undesirables.

Earlier this week I caught up with an old friend. Now approaching his eighties Hendrik opened an offshore bank account with HSBC back in 1996. It cost him 10 pounds sterling at the time. For quite a few years he managed to live modestly in rented accommodation and had his pension paid every month into his HSBC account.

 

This bank is threatening his lifestyle. So much so he thinks he may have to return to the UK and go on social welfare. Why?

20 years later this bank is threatening his lifestyle. So much so he thinks he may have to return to the UK and go on social welfare. Why?

Well because he doesn’t have 25,000 Stg on deposit in his account, they are charging him 10 pounds a month surcharge.

 

The fat cats at the bank would probably laugh at people who cannot afford to pay

The fat cats at the bank would probably laugh at the people who cannot afford to pay their surcharge but for many elderly pensioners living in the Kingdom, they know that ten pounds can buy them lunch or dinner for a week here. On top of the appreciating baht this may well be the last straw for many.

What really intrigued me was the subtle attempt by the bank to blackmail customers into using their investing banking arm.

You won’t need to pay 10 pounds a month if you use us to invest your lump sum”

they say, but their sales literature probably doesn’t mention the downside.

If you have 100,000 pounds or dollars and that is the only money you have, they will be happy to send a youth from the Isle of Man to give you “Financial advice”.

Next year do you really believe they will fly someone to consult with you for a few hours when there is no scope for earning further commission?

Next year when you would like to discuss your portfolio performance do you really believe they will fly someone to talk to you for a few hours when there is no scope for earning further commission?

Plus the likelihood is that their advisers will be pushing their own products which will rob you of the choice of independent advice.

Don’t get me wrong here. I have no gripe personally with HSBC nor have I ever had any dealings with them. I’m talking about all multinational banks. We, the small investor are only a number.

I’ve been talking in these articles for years about using a local broker. Make sure they are committed to Thailand and are people of substance. By that I mean they should have lived here for at least five years and ideally own at least one property.

I used to say make sure they have a professional certificate in investing but since most of the crooked merchant bankers are dripping in MBA’s I’ve stopped saying that.

 

There’s a word starting with W that rhymes with bankers.

There’s a word starting with W that rhymes with bankers but since I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon I won’t use it.

david.thrifty@yahoo.com