Supermarkets 1, Banks 0, part II

Tomorrow's Business

Yesterday’s missive noted that supermarkets are having a better crisis than banks so far, certainly from a communications standpoint.

Grocers are simpler businesses than banks it is true, on the other hand, the banks do seem to delight in over complicating what they do.

There are only three things in banking: deposits, loans and insurance. (The bank takes out insurance on loans, the government gives us insurance on deposits.)

That is it. Three things. Everything else is just fancy talk.

Sometimes, listening to banks explain themselves is like watching a kitten playing Jenga. They paw around for a bit. Then the whole thing falls over.

In good times, financial services are just a boring necessity, of interest only to people who work in it or the strange breed of people known as banking correspondents (that would be me).

Presently banks are deciding which firms survive and which do not. And therefore how many families end up destitute and how many come out the other side.

As such, they should speak about what they do using the simplest language possible. Everyone is watching them, not just banking reporters.

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