October 12, 2011

Horse 1237 - Bank Fee Rage

Why do I have to pay to use an ATM? I'm essentially paying to get MY money back which I've lent the bank in the first place. When you bear in mind that they've already taken my money and pooled it together with other people's money into a giant clump and then collected the interest on it either by lending it out to other people or on the short-term money market, it seems slightly unfair that if I have the gall to try and get it back (and in most cases because they've closed a branch) they make me pay for it.

On that last note, once upon a time banks at least maintained the facade of being safe places with big stone buildings but now they've decided that the general public are patsies and their wallets are free for the taking, this is the justification for closing branches and instead of paying a teller a proper years wages, instead of assuming those savings they pass extra costs onto us.

Internet banking... sure the promise is that we can move our money about but in reality all the banks have done is made us do the same job that a teller used to do and because it's all on the internet, the whole thing is done at an implied reduced sense of security where we now are forced to assume responsibilty for security and are liable if something goes awry.

On top of all this the Commonwealth Bank's CEO was paid (and I shirk at the term "earned") more than $16 million, ANZ's CEO was paid $10.9 million, Westpac's CEO was paid $9.5 million, and NAB's CEO was paid $7.7 million.

Salaries in these ranges aren't determined by the forces of supply and demand and but because of the rules of corporate disclosure, want what everyone else has got (even in the case of the United States where they've even been bailed out by the US Government). Of course they'd merely point to the bottom line and suggest that the bank's "success" justifies the largesse.

Well I have a suggestion, I'll work for a mere 10% of the pay that the Commonwealth Bank's CEO is paid, and with the rest I'll employ 130 tellers at $75000 a piece. Better yet, start hacking out the obscene salaries of the rest of the executive and we can start putting back tellers into branches.

Of course it's all too hard. Last year the big four banks extracted $11.1 billion in bank fees in 2008-09 and only $4.0 billion in 2009-10.

And all of this so I can pay to get MY money back?

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