Thursday, March 22, 2007

Motorblog The £Million Netherworld: Have you noticed when we owe the Bank money they snatch it straight out of our account and into theirs? Yet when we pay something off our credit card bill, it takes 3 days to travel from our account to the credit card account, even if the credit card is with our own Bank!
It's clever.
In the first instance, if you don't pay something off your card early or on time, you get slammed with another charge; and the Bank makes extra money. Yet even when you pay on time, it takes that 3 days to travel - where?
This is the electronic age and everything happens faster, except for those 3 days on your credit card payment.
Those 3 days are a netherworld called 'Stocks & Shares' into which the Banks collect all the available money from this ongoing 3 day period, and they invest it, and make £millions.
Of course, we should be grateful rather than annoyed; if they didn't do this we would be charged even more.
Years ago with the Fan Club account, we were stung heavily as they charged something like 7 pence for every cheque and postal order they dealt with; and a lot of cheques and PO's went through in 12 months, so they made quite a bit. Then they said "If the account has the word 'club' in it, the Banking is for free- no charges!"
Well, like most clubs, be it the local pigeon-fancier's club or whatever, generally, the balance stays in there, and much like the '3 day' logic above, the Banks can make a tidy packet on this 'idle money' sitting in 'club accounts.'
And they are right, and it did us a favour.
Generally, with the Fan Club, funds are only withdrawn every March, July and November, when I have to pay for the fanzines to be printed, the envelopes to mail them out in, and, of course, the stamps. Other than this, funds go in, but they stay there, and the Bank thought, "Ah, we can make a few (£million) quid here, so, to be kind to our unwitting benefactor's, we will declare any 'Club' accounts charge-free!
So there you go. Close your current account, start a new one with 'Club' in it and you have free banking!
But of course, our Banks learned the '3-day trick' from our Governement, whom, in the instance of yesterday's (and every) Budget, get up to similar scams. When booze, cigarettes, road fund tax and petrol/diesel prices are increased in the Budget, they go up at 6am that evening; yet, like yesterday, when he cut the income tax, it won't happen until April...April 2008!