Sunday, 4 September 2011

Bank Speak

The Royal Bank of Scotland says it will vigorously defend itself against US government claims the bank misrepresented the quality of mortgages it sold.

Seems to me that the words; "We will vigorously defend," have come to mean; "We don't really have a leg to stand on."

Just the other day, NatWest charged me $4.50 for buying zero commission foreign currency at the Heathrow Travelex, quoting the charge on my bank statement as a 'cash advance'. No mention was made of this charge when buying the currency and the transaction slip did not show it.

How something I bought using a debit card, the cost of which came direct from my bank account, could be considered a cash advance is beyond me. Naturally they blame Visa - but Nationwide absorb the charge - which in any case is irrational.

I rang the bank to complain and threatened to move my considerable stash (the savings for the house build) to another bank. The drone on the phone didn't give a toss and told me to read the small print on my debit card.

Talking of rebuilding and investment, a pub in Cumbria has been brought back from the brink of closure by the village buying it for £300k. Seems a bit daft to me - the place was described as central to village life, but it was obviously in financial difficulty through the villagers not frequenting it in the first place.

Surely a better strategy, and one that did not involve the villagers mortgaging themselves to the eyeballs, would simply have been to frequent it, which would have brought it back from the dead and saved them a stash. I am confident that, now the flurry of activity is over, they will all go back to not patronising their purchase, and that was inevitable will once more become inevitable. Expect the Butcher's Arms in Crosby to close within a year.


  1. Not necessarily, re the pub.

    The pubcos have to make a profit, or will close pubs. Village co-operatives don't particularly have to make a profit, thought it's nice.

    Pubcos also have a vested interest in running pubs down - then they can flog them off for housing. You can get six or seven executive homes on the space occupied by most country pubs. So a pub needing support from corporate owners may find it gets nothing, the beer range is restricted, the price goes up...

    Good luck to them, I say.

  2. You have a point - additionally they may transformed it into somewhere that people actually want to go. The old pub may not have offered what the locals needed.

  3. Yea, except my local, in a country area, a free house has been getting it tight (forgive) this past couple of years so self and a couple of other locals have damned near turned ourselves into alcoholics supporting it. We fear though rthat now the winter is here and the tourists are gone, we'll be supping ale in each others front parlours soon.