One thing I have managed to achieve in the last few months is to get shot of my personal bank account with HSBC. I have had once since I was fifteen, when I shook hands with the bank manager in Maida Vale (the branch has been closed for years) and was then very proud of it.
When the closed their branch in Crystal Palace a few years ago I vowed I would leave, but it has taken me rather a long time to 'move my money', as the Huffington Post urged so successfully last year. I feel rather good about having done so.
And one reason or this is that I worked out my own share of their bonus pot this year. They have about 95m customers worldwide and paid out bonuses this spring to their staff worth £1.2 billion. That means each of us customers have individually contributed about £12.60 (including about 5p for the chief executive's bonus). Where else does the money come but from their customers?
I don't feel this is my money well spent. It certainly hasn't improved their service to domestic customers, who are now expected to interact via robots in their increasingly rare branch network. The bonuses are inflationary and raise London house prices, making us all worse off. I feel relieved not to be encouraging that kind of economic corrosion.
Now for my Barclays business account...
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