"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Monday, January 7, 2013

Banks banks banks - Rant alert!

The photo above is of the Bank of Ireland branch in Dunboyne. Don't know when Google took this photo as the 6 parking spaces are always jammed. I only go to this branch once every six weeks or so and I invariably leave it in a suicidal state of mind. Everything they do is designed to thwart the personal customer and get you to do all your banking online, at a charge naturally. It's not the staff's fault - they're actually doing themselves out of a job and there's nothing they can do about it.
What bugs me the most is the way they try to dress up their new anti-customer initiatives as being greatly beneficial to the customer. They used to have a Quick Lodge box. Pop your envelope with money and lodgement slip into it and that was that. Now you have a touch screen machine and you have to have a card and a PIN. How does this benefit the older person? Or the person short of sight?
Last month I was in the above branch and there were 20 people in the queue for the cashier. And the one girl behind the desk was doing other work! There was actually nobody serving.
Now I hear you can't get a bank draft for less than 500 euro. And, unsurprisingly, this is a positive step. How?
The banks no longer take coin, even if you have bagged it up yourself, without imposing a hefty charge on putting it through a counting machine. Isn't it a part of the banking system that they accept cash?
They closed our local branch down in Stoneybatter years ago. Stoneybatter is an area mainly comprising older people. They transferred all the business to Phibsboro, over a mile away, or a walk and a bus ride away. Efficiencies. Not for the customer, its not.
Oh and bank charges are back with a vengeance. God help those people trying to renegotiate mortgages,

All part of the customer service

We’re closing the branch that you always frequent
for we do not believe it is money well-spent.
It’s better for you if we cut down on rent.
Yes, I know you don’t really deserve us.
There’s no need to thank us,
that’s why we are bankers –
it’s part of the customer service.

The ‘Quick Lodge’ is gone; you now need a card.
Just follow the screen, boy, it isn’t too hard.
Remember your PIN or you’ll find yourself barred.
There’s really no need to be nervous.
Efficiency means
you must deal with machines –
it’s all part of the customer service.

Bank drafts are gone, they’re a thing of the past.
Use banking online, it’s so easy and fast.
Computers are cheap and they’re all built to last –
ask any independent observers!
If you’re seventy nine,
you can still bank online –
it’s all part of the customer service.

We’re pleased to announce that bank charges are back
to help get our balance sheet back up on track.
Some critics have claimed it’s a retrograde tack –
oh, the saints in heaven preserve us!
As our profits accrue,
you will benefit too –
it’s all part of the customer service.

Don’t bother the teller, he’s too much to do
to spend half the morning a-listening to you.
In time he’ll be gone and the manager too.
The unions will never outswerve us!
It’s us, the bank’s bosses
who’ll help to cut losses.
This board of directors
is here to protect us.
At present the onus is
on paying our bonuses –
it’s all part of the customer service.


  1. Great poem. Feel it would make a good Monty Pythonesque song too. "Always look on the bright side of financial mismanagement" etc.
    They are, unquestionably, a wunch of bankers.

  2. Wunch of bankers. Heh.

    We use a credit union & I'm SO GLAD. No bank charges, free debit card, & I do all of our banking online which suits me fine. But the other nice thing is that the people who work in our branch are really great too.

    Of course, here in Ohio we don't have the same "village life" scenario that you do - no one ever walks anywhere if they can help it, so having to go an extra mile is no big deal. Not saying that's a good thing though, what with our dependence on fossil fuels, which is a whole OTHER rant :)

  3. they charge you for online banking? I guess if this is the only nearby bank then "get another bank" is terrible advice

    Good poem though

  4. Well said, their behaviour was criminal and now they've gone off on another tack. Can't be good for business no matter what they think.

  5. Hi Rachel - great collective noun - a wunch!! Love it!
    Hi Bug - Credit unions over here seem to be going the way of banks. They were lovely and chatty 10 years ago but now its all business!
    DFTP - Much of a muchness really. And yes, online banking is far from free.
    Thanks Frank - just being a grumpy old man, really!