Banking: thousands of customers switch their accounts out of the big five

Building societies, credit unions and co-operatives benefit as anger over scandals turns to action


The Co-operative bank has seen the number of people switching to its current accounts jump by 43% over the past year. Photograph: Ian Dagnall/Alamy

Consumers are deserting major high-street banks in unprecedented numbers after a slew of revelations about unethical behaviour, according to data from the Move Your Money campaign.

Building societies, credit unions and co-operatives have all reported a sharp rise in new business over the past 12 months as the reputation of the major banks has taken a hammering.

Laura Willoughby, Move Your Money’s chief executive, said: “Anger with the banks is turning into action. This year British banks have been exposed for exploiting their customers, starving the economy of credit and flouting the law.”

Credit unions – small, usually locally based savings groups – have attracted almost 20,000 new accounts in the past six months, according to Move Your Money, while ethical banks Triodos, Ecology and the Charity Bank have all reported a jump in customers.

Building societies saw 78,000 customers sign up for savings accounts in the third quarter alone after Barclays was implicated in the Libor-fixing scandal, which has spread to engulf several other banks.

“Customers are clearly far more interested now in the way financial services companies are run,” said a spokeswoman for the Building Societies Association. “Putting that into the mix alongside interest rates and service has been positive for mutuals like building societies.”

The Co-operative bank, which will treble the size of its network next year when it takes over 632 Lloyds branches, has seen the number of people switching to its current accounts jump by 43% over the past year.

Move Your Money urges savers to shift their accounts from the so-called big five – Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS – to ethical or mutually owned alternatives.

The government has sought to boost competition in the banking market as a way of improving the performance of the big players. Business secretary Vince Cable said: “One of the biggest things is competition: getting new banks in to challenge the others.”

Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP chairing the parliamentary commission on banking standards, said last week: “The latest revelations of collusion, corruption and market-rigging beggar belief”.


Iceland’s Hörður Torfason – How to Beat the Banksters

LINK HERE TO – Iceland’s Hörður Torfason – How to Beat the Banksters

Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times

The tiny Nordic European island country of iceland is presently experiencing one of the greatest economic comebacks of all time. After the privatization of the banking sector completed in 200o, the economy was thrown into a tailspin when over a five year period, private bankers borrowed 120 billion dollars (10 times the size of Iceland’s economy). A huge economic bubble was created, causing house prices to double, and making a small percentage of Iceland’s population rich enough to buy up overseas investments, mansions, yachts, and private jets, while leaving an absolutely un-payable debt for all Icelanders. Iceland was facing national bankruptcy.

In response to the failed banking system, in October 2008, Iceland’s revolution against this financial tyranny began, rather casually in the street, in front of the Icelandic general assembly.

In the duration of five months, the main bank of Iceland was nationalized, government officials were forced to resign, the old government was liquidated, and a new government was put in its place. By March 2010, Iceland’s people voted to deny payment of the 3,500 million Euro debt created by the bankers, and about 200 high-level executives and bankers responsible for the economic crisis in the country were either arrested or were facing criminal charges.

In February 2011, a new constitutional assembly settled in to rewrite the tiny nation’s constitution, which aimed to avoid entrapment by debt-based currency foreign loans. In 2012, Iceland’s economy is expected to outgrow the Euro and the average for the developed world, as estimated by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


HSBC 60 TRILLION Money Laundering in 2010!!!

This just in from Richard Becker at Liberation News…

HSBC: Too big to indict

Money-laundering to the tune of $60 trillion in 2010

By Richard Becker

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Get a copy of “The Myth of Democracy and the Rule of the Banks” by Richard Becker

For a real jaw dropper, the lead paragraph of a Dec. 10 New York Times article would be hard to beat:

“State and federal authorities decided against indicting HSBC in a money-laundering case over concerns that criminal charges could jeopardize one of the world’s largest banks and ultimately destabilize the global financial system.”

So, there it is: The big banks, no matter how blatant their crimes, must be protected. They and their executives are free to steal, defraud and loot without fear of facing prison time.

Despite massive evidence that HSBC had been operating as a criminal enterprise, the Department of “Justice” opted for another slap-on-the-wrist fine.

Not that this is anything really new. Since their wild and often fraudulent schemes led to the bank crash and public bailout in 2008—and helped trigger the “Great Recession”—not one Wall Street bank executive has faced criminal prosecution for their crimes.

In lieu of any of their present or former executives being prosecuted, HSBC has admitted its guilt and agreed to pay $1.9 billion. That might sound like a lot of money but consider that the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found that HSBC had $60 trillion in potentially illegal transactions in 2010.

To read more click here:  Liberation News

Bank of America CEO Moynihan Can’t Remember Anything

Selective Memory for Bank of America’s CEO.  If his memory is that bad how did he get his job in the first place?  Read this post by Matt Taibbi

Thank God for Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. If you’re a court junkie, or have the misfortune (as some of us poor reporters do) of being forced professionally to spend a lot of time reading legal documents, the just-released Moynihan deposition in MBIA v. Bank of America, Countrywide, and a Buttload of Other Shameless Mortgage Fraudsters will go down as one of the great Nixonian-stonewalling efforts ever, and one of the more entertaining reads of the year.

In this long-awaited interrogation – Bank of America has been fighting to keep Moynihan from being deposed in this case for some time – Moynihan does a full Star Trek special, boldly going where no deponent has ever gone before, breaking out the “I don’t recall” line more often and perhaps more ridiculously than was previously thought possible. Moynihan seems to remember his own name, and perhaps his current job title, but beyond that, he’ll have to get back to you.

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