I should preface this by saying I’m very happy with my bank.
Before and during this recession it has emerged with an enhanced reputation and ethical credentials – quite a feat given the state of the financial industry as a whole.
But the trials and tribulations of the industry are still having a knock-on impact.
That is why I’m seriously annoyed with other people’s banks and financial institutions. It probably explains why the usual irritation I feel towards TV advertising is now almost exclusively aimed at campaigns for banks, building societies and other financial services companies.
From the excruciating Halifax “radio station” ads, to the red Lego-style building blocks of Lewis Hamilton’s favourites Santander and not forgetting the odious CreditExpert campaign by Experian, my brow furrows whenever these adverts hit my TV screen.
Incidentally, putting aside the act that such a service is being advertised as a necessity, who exactly are those CreditExpert adverts aimed at? They fail to even have any quirk appeal.
I have become caught up in the new national sport of bank baiting and it is mainly because they spent so many years adopting a hateful “do as I say, don’t do as I do” approach. Yet even though they collectively failed on a massive scale, they have still not been held to account.
So-called tough new regulations have failed to materialise and both the major political parties should be damned for their failure to take a harder line.
That is undoubtedly why Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats’ Treasury spokesman, currently holds the title of “the nation’ favourite politician” – although, admittedly, there isn’t really much competition. Cable easily won this week’s chancellors’ debate as Alistair Darling again failed to shine and George Osborne did anther fine impression of an arrogant, petulant and generally clueless fool.
What is refreshing about Cable is that although he does say what people want to hear, he backs it up with plenty of substance and common sense solutions to the financial problems the country is facing. He may well yet get to test out these sensible and popular policies if we get a hung parliament, but the chances are we’ll still get landed with the same old hot air if Labour or the Conservatives secure a big enough majority.
So I’ll concentrate on getting riled whenever a bank, building society or financial services company advertises on my TV.
At the moment, I’m particularly annoyed with the NatWest Moneywise campaign and especially the bank employee who dispenses financial advice to a young mum and says: “That would look like a savings bond. That would look like a high interest current account.”
No, you idiot! It won’t look like anything, it will be something.
And that will look like an ill-conceived rant about banks.