By Val Morgan

So hands up if you’re shocked and outraged by the latest scandal highlighting the limitless greed and dishonesty of that one time peerless bedrock of Western Civilisation – the banking industry?

Not many hands in the air, right?....

 

Fixing the inter-bank lending rate, commonly known as the Libor, is just the tip of the iceberg.  Barclays may now be under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) but time will surely tell that they weren’t the only ones rigging the market so they could continue to make their underserved and grotesque profits.

It just came to my attention recently that Spanish banking giant Santander has been pilfering a small direct debit (minimum payment) out of my own account for something I bought in 2004 – an amount too small to notice, but big enough for them to cream a substantial profit over time.  They hadn’t written to me about this credit agreement since 2006!

OK, I’m guilty of not checking my account closely enough but I realised there is something deeply unsavoury about an industry that is geared to make enormous profits out of people’s oversights.

So not only do we have outright dishonesty we also have sly practices.  All the while the industry’s infinite marketing and advertising campaigns seek to cosy up to us, make out they’re our best buddies, whilst slipping notes out of our back pockets!

Now nobody is saying that Doune and its inhabitants are paragons of virtue.  That would be daft and inaccurate.  However, the decent, almost old fashioned, neighbourly, and honest way that people deal with each other in their everyday lives is in stark contrast to the dishonesty our supposed ‘best buddies’ in the banking industry display.

It makes me think that I’d rather be poor with a decent community around me than rich beyond my wildest dreams but loathed by the world.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

Read more Thoughts of the Month by local residents here.