I am positive I am not alone in stating that despite all this financial turmoil, there is a certain amount of salacious pleasure to be derived from seeing banks and bankers getting their comeuppance. The Germans of course have just the perfect word for this, “schadenfreude” – taking malicious satisfaction in another persons troubles – which no other language can so succinctly match.
Whilst many people have looked on with some abhorrence at the super profits that the banks have made in the past and the almost immoral bonuses paid out by many of these institutions, many are probably more like me in that I had just become totally fed up with dealing with these organisations. Any interaction that I have with any bank is a frustrating and tortuous experience. Having passed the identification test, I invariably end up on the telephone with a jobsworth who either can’t or won’t help me with whatever request it may be.
I have never been sure whether it’s just the poor quality of the staff recruited by these organisations, or the systems and processes that they employ. Which ever it is, the prospect of having to contact a bank is something I try and avoid wherever possible.
A recent example relating to their complete inefficiency and stupidity will perhaps provide further evidence. We have been trying to obtain corporate credit cards for 6 people in our company The Made Simple Group for the last 5 months. The forms had to be completed in triplicate, identification information included for each applicant, credit limits set, and all necessary checks taken. However, the forms kept coming back to us in the post until we queried the position on the telephone to find out that the address printed on the forms was in fact wrong. Having now obtained the correct address, we have sent the forms in again only for them to come back again. I asked one of my assistants to call the bank and she has been unable to get an answer because she is not a signatory although that hadn’t been a problem in the past.
I have now called the bank again and been advised that a mandate form hadn’t been received only for another department of the same bank to confirm that they have received it.
This saga has now been ongoing for five months and we still don’t have the credit cards. If these people worked for me or you we probably would have asked them to leave long ago. The trouble is, banks, like so many organisations, are simply inefficient, antiquated and bedevilled by bureaucracy.
If only I ran a bank ….