Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A People's Bank

"Making the Post Office the "people's bank" could secure its future and help those not served by banks, a coalition of MPs and interest groups is arguing.

They are due to outline plans for a Post Bank, offering a wide range of financial services at its branches.

Unions say it would help those without bank accounts while business groups say it could create as many as 11,000 jobs.

Ministers, who want post offices to offer more products, "welcomed" the ideas being put forward."

Supporters of the Post Bank model want it to become a fully fledged "socially inclusive" alternative to commercial banks, serving more than 20 million customers every week.

Didn't we used to have banks like that ?

The Trustee Savings Bank, or TSB as it was commonly known, was a British financial institution which specialised in accepting savings deposits from the poor. They did not trade their shares on the stock market and, unlike mutually held building societies, depositors had no voting rights nor the ability to direct the financial and managerial goals of the organisation. Directors were appointed as trustees (hence the name) on a voluntary basis.

Whatever happened to them ?

In 1995, the TSB merged with Lloyds Bank to form Lloyds TSB.

Oh. I must say, I'm not sure what services the rump of what used to be the Post Office Savings Bank still offer. But I do think you can save with them. A British 'National' organisation run by a German company with the back-office jobs in Madras (aka Chennai) - what's not to like for a Labour lefty ?

PS - the engineer came yesterday, and without testing announced it was the ADSL modem. One new ADSL modem and £44 later I still have no ADSL signal. La lotta continua.


Edwin Greenwood said...

I seem to recall opening an account with the "Postbank" in 1972, except that in those days it was called the "National Giro Bank". It was a proper current account with cheques and stuff and you could make deposits and withdrawals at your local Post Office.

I wonder what happened to it. Let me have a quick look at my statement. Oh yes, I remember now. It was flogged off to Alliance and Leicester, a quondam building society which lost its way and is now owned by an overstretched Spanish bank by the name of Santander.

As that noted philosopher Kurt Vonnegut so pithily expressed it, so it goes.

Anonymous said...

Well, regards ADSL, you haven't been pulling leaves off your roof have you?
I assume not at this time of year.
But I had trouble, my mum had asked my bother to help get the leaves off the roof, I said careful with my internet line.. oh yes ofcourse they replied.
A few weeks later after intermittant dialup connection, the engineer comes out and starts altering things up the road, and in the socket, and lastly realising the fault was just where the leaves were as the line came into the house.
Next year, exactly the same thing happened again.
I told the guy where I thought the problem might be but ofcourse he had to check everything else first and that last.

Anonymous said...

Does "socially inclusive" mean that it will be obliged to lend money to anyone who asks, regardless of their likely ability (or willingness) to repay?

If so, isn't that where we came in?

paul ilc said...

NSI sounds like an STD. But I digress... to be pedantic Laban, NSI is not "run" in the sense of 'managed and controlled' by a German company, rather its "entire back office operation is contracted out to a German company, Siemens Business Services", with a call centre operation in Madras. Just wanted to make that clear to your readers.

Btw, I recently bought a Dell computer, as my 8-year-old Evesham was on its last legs. Dell's Madras/Chennai call centre was much more helpful than Evesham's UK-based set-up had ever been -- even helping me install speakers and peripherals that I had not bought from Dell. And they spoke and wrote better English, too.

Unknown said...

With regards to the better English being spoken at the Madras call centre, I wouldn't be in the least bit suprised. We have friends who are originally from Madras and whose command of English puts that of most people to shame.

State schools don't teach grammar, sentence structure or the like any more - and it shows.

Anonymous said...

wildgoose" State schools don't teach grammar, sentence structure or the like any more .."

Huh! grammar etc., is not important. More important than how to communicate is STDs and how to get an abortion.