Great Britain

I’m losing interest in banks writes Roy Edmonds


I received a letter from my bank the other day. No, it wasn’t a dire warning. We manage to keep out of penury, thank God.

Not that the banks mind you getting behind these days; they actively encourage us into debt – for the fat fees on overdrafts. My wife was even asked, down at the branch before it closed, if she fancied a mortgage. It had taken a lifetime to get rid of the last one!

No, this note was on friendly, first-name terms - to inform me our humble savings account was to have its interest rate ‘reduced’! I didn’t think it could get smaller, without disappearing! This was, apparently, in line with what other banks were doing.

When I checked details, our interest was being halved – from a poultry 0.20 per cent to a risible 0.10 per cent. Looking over the (‘non-payment’) accounts listed, only one approached a full 1 per cent and had to have £50,000 invested.

We’re with the NatWest. I’m glad they’ve dropped the ‘caring bank’ title after closing their busy, well staffed branches. But they’re all the same, it seems. They want us to pay monthly fees for keeping our money and making profits from it.

Older readers and savers might recall those fulfilling days of 5 per cent on such sensible saving; then tax-friendly ISAs. Interest rates even rose once to 15 per cent when, unfortunately, our mortgages were hammered.

I even fondly remember my first account, at our friendly Trustees Savings Bank, when proudly taking in my piggy bank as a child.

Perhaps reliably run community credit unions are the answer, to help struggling families get by safely. Otherwise, the young are encouraged to borrow, borrow, borrow . . .

It sounds like that first big Pools winner, who was going to “spend, spend, spend”. She ended up tragically, as I recall.

* Books by Roy, fiction and memoir, are on Kindle or in paperback. Visit or Waterstones.

Football news:

It's time to learn the names of new Borussia heroes. Now there are 17-year-old boys making goals
Paulo Fonseca: it's Important to bring Smalling back to Roma. We have only 3 Central defenders
Arteta about 2:1 with West ham: Arsenal made life difficult for themselves with losses, but they fought and believed in victory
Palace midfielder Townsend: Could have beaten Manchester United with a bigger difference. We had moments
Philippe Coutinho: I am motivated and I want to work hard to make everything work out well on the pitch
Torres on Chelsea: I Thought I could remain a top player, but I was unstable. Although there were enough successes
Neville on the broken penalty against Manchester United: an Absolute disgrace