Just Deserts

I don’t like banks very much. I’m not a “I’m going to keep all my money under the mattress” loony, but I agree with the Radio 2 financial adviser who said that banks are the enemy and should be treated as such. Aside from the whole you-clearly-don’t-have-as-much-money-as-you-thought-you-did-so-we’re-going-to-charge-you businesswank, it’s the completely archaic systems of money transfer that gets me the most. Four days to clear a cheque? Four days? How stupid do you think I am? You put the two account numbers, both of which can be read automatically, into the computer, which then checks to see whether funds are available. If they are, money is transferred. If not, it isn’t. Exactly which part of this takes four days? Physically moving the cheque to the correct bank, I suppose. Because that’s necessary, I’m sure. Similarly money transfers via the internet. They can’t even use the paper-confuses-us excuse there, since it’s all electronic anyway. And don’t pretend the computers can’t take it, because if I use my debit card the money’s gone instantly. So there.

Who got me started? Who did it? Bad person! Ah yes, I remember now. It was this article, which says that the Office of Fair Trading has told banks to speed up money transfers to within one day. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA. Sorry. Actually, I’m not. And the following is delightful news, too:

Later this year the OFT will investigate the amount of time it takes banks to clear cheques.

Consumer groups are hoping that the OFT will decide that the three to five days it takes to clear a cheque is too long.

“Cheques must not become the Cinderella of the bank payments system,” Ed Mayo, National Consumer Council chief executive said.

“A donkey could deliver cheques faster than banks can put money into customers’ accounts.”

It’s not often I agree with consumer groups, but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If I could cackle, I would.