31st January 2010

Don't you just hate all those childish English TV ads, especially that one for Lloyd's bank? You know the one, where Julie Walters does a condescending voice-over, whilst Lowrie-like people rush about. Neither do I like the B. Soc. ads where some young girl who looks like an incompetent telephonist smiles and talks to you about your children.
I much prefer the old-fashioned quality of French banks. I don't want to be put at my ease in the middle of a waiting area full of eavesdropping queuers waiting for the one vacant counter. I want to go into a soundproof, private office, to talk to an older man (sexist/ageist, I know) who has spent years in the banking industry and knows his trade. As such, Credit Agricole has always offerred that plus the modern stuff like internet banking - vital for those who live in the countryside.
However, recent news is that French banks are starting to close non-profitable accounts, much to the chagrin of their customers. It appears that banks want to get rid of people who do not make enough use of their (paid for) banking services, i.e. those who don't use credit cards, insurance on which the bank makes a profit. An account with 350 euros in it and no movements is an expense to the bank! M. Dos Santos, president of a major French banking union, said "a bank is not a public service".
That says it all really.

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