Do you ever wonder why banking is called the financial services industry? Or who coined the term? Most likely, it was the banks themselves, in which case it can only have been due to massive self-delusion or an unlikely and hitherto undetected sense of irony. Increasingly any link between banks and service appears coincidental and more likely to be the result of luck more than judgement.
This was highlighted in a recent Sunday Times article “Saved from Hitler, Lost by Barclays” in which a journalist described how Barclays not only lost the contents of a safety deposit box, but managed to absolve themselves from any responsibility for the loss. One would think Barclays would be more sensitive to such publicity in this day and age (especially in light of their new corporate values) but, alas, it would seem not.
Yet, while I can heave a sigh of relief that I don’t bank with Barclays, my experience with Santander suggests there is not much to choose between them. My story hardly fits in the same league, but nevertheless seems to epitomise the apathy and general “couldn’t-care-less” attitude that passes for service in these monolithic, overgrown and overblown organisations.