Less than zero

Tomorrow's Business

Why do people start hating their bank right from the start? Because it saves time later.

Even allowing for this usual, sensible, state of affairs I think our least lovely financial institutions are heading for a PR problem. I mean even worse than usual.

Yesterday, Santander cut the interest rate on its once market leading 123 account to 1% – i.e, even less than very low inflation, i.e, less than zero.

Cashback was also capped at £15 a month (thanks very much) and new overdraft fees were introduced, leaving the account “a shadow of what it was”.

Assume that others will follow suit, because they always do, rather making a mockery of the industry claims to be competitive.

If the Bank of England cuts interest rates later this month, as many now assume,

profit margins at the big lenders will come under even more pressure.

So they’ll reduce savings rates across the board, while finding it hard to cut mortgage rates, since they are already so low.

If I were a bank PR person I would a) get a different job and b) in the meantime, start thinking about how I am going to explain all this in something approaching English.

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