How angry does your bank make you feel?
Many people get fed up with their bank. But angry enough to go and brick up its doors? That’s what one developer did last weekend in protest at being turned down for a loan.
Cameron Hope is reported to have built a wall bricking up the front door of Barclays in Westbourne, Dorset, after being turned down for business loans worth £240,000 by another bank. After a couple of hours he took it down when asked to do so by the police. He’s reported to have said that his beef wasn’t with Barclays but that he’d built his wall there because he couldn’t do so outside NatWest.
But aside from these details of his protest, there’s no doubt that many will have been struck by the protest and by Hope’s words: “You go into a bank and there’s nothing there, the bank’s open but the safe is shut.” It seems to sum up his sense of “talking to a brick wall” when dealing with banks.
Certainly Twitter is full of comments applauding his direct action. But, as I asked at the outset, while many people might get a bit fed up with their bank, how many would be angry enough to do something like this?
Certainly there seems to have been plenty to complain about recently, to look at the recent complaints figures for banks. More than 84,000 people complained to the Financial Ombudsman about their bank in the first six months of this year. The largest category of complaints was about misselling of payment protection insurance on loans, while the second largest was related to bank accounts. Lloyds TSB was the most complained-about bank, with 22,420 grouches, followed by Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander. Forty-four per cent of all complaints were upheld.
On the other hand, research out earlier this year showed that most people stay with their banks for an awfully long time. The Santander survey showed that bank accounts are held for an average of 16.5 years, while one in five people has had theirs for more than 30 years.
That seems to suggest that many people do get upset with their bank. But most don’t get so angry that they will go as far as changing bank accounts – and still less that they’ll go to the extremes of bricking up a bank’s doors.
So I thought I’d ask you: what gets you upset about your bank – and how would you like to see it change its behaviour. Have you ever complained, and if you did, what happened? And have you ever changed banks – or done anything else – in protest?
Share your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below.
- Vote with your feet if you wish and move banks. Step 1: Compare other bank accounts on offer.
- You may be able to claim back £1000s from your bank if they mis-sold you payment protection insurance. Speak to Complaint Handling Services.