Cruelty Free Money

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Our friends – the banks

Remember – it’s YOUR money?

Over 20 years ago in the UK there was a fantastic advertising campaign by a Building Society.  It portrayed the existing big banks as organisations who believed they ‘owned’ the money of their customers and were free to do anything that they want with ‘their’ money.  The counter argument by the Building Society was “we remember that it is your money”.

The really sad thing is that, over 20 years later, nothing seems to have changed very much.  The world has been through the biggest financial crisis in 80 years, exacerbated by the activities of the biggest banks, and still everything continues as normal.  The big banks seem to believe that their customers are the ones that should be the subservient party – that somehow we are just so lucky and should be ever so grateful that the banks even allow us to give them our money.  We are charged when we hand over our money, we are charged if we dare to want some of it back and if we promise to be good we might get some interest.

And for our part, we hand over our money and feel pleased that we’ve earned some interest, but how many of us actually question what is done with our money and, importantly, whether the interest we are being paid is a fair reward for us providing the banks with our money.

Let’s have a look at an example of how unfair the current relationship is:

You put $10,000 in a high interest savings account with a bank

You are offered an interest rate of 6%

You are happy because you’ll earn $600 of interest this year

Life’s good.


The bank uses your money to lend to another individual via a credit card.

The bank charges an interest rate of 18% on the credit card

The bank is happy because they’ll earn $1800 of interest this year

Life’s better than good, it’s fantastic.


If we view the customer/bank relationship as a partnership (you provide the capital, they provide a way of earning money on it), then excuse me for being picky but it doesn’t seem to be a fair partnership does it?  You earn $600 and they earn $1800 and it is YOUR money.  Wouldn’t it be fairer if you received $900 and the bank received the same?

So why do we do it?  Probably because we haven’t thought about it and it is accepted that this is the way things work.  But it doesn’t have to be like this – why not look at an alternative to one of the main four banks?  Why not consider an institution which is mutual and run for the benefit of its members rather than shareholders?

One final word; I haven’t even looked at the ethical issues associated with handing your money over to one of the big banks.  You’d be quite disgusted about the things that your money could be financing.  But I’ll look at this another time…………..

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