Very few things make my blood boil than getting a communication from a jobsworth which is pointless and resource consuming. I have just had one from a Bank in connection with an account for part of the Liberal Democrats.
It would not have taken too much trouble to answer it after I finally got through to someone who explained that they knew most of it was irrelevant and make the answers as close to possible to the questions that should have been asked for an account like ours.
Then I thought, “What the hell!” Hundreds of thousands of people with small accounts have been put to some inconvenience because no-one at the highly paid HQ of a big bank could think through what was really required.
On that basis I have sent the letter to someone who will remain nameless. I look forward to publishing a reply. Why don’t I move the account – well sorry ‘Move Your Money’ but in this regard they are all as bad as each other.
XXXXXXX XXXX Esq.,
PO BOX 1000,
22nd July 2013
Dear Mr XXXX,
I have received from you today a most imperious and ignorant letter warning that you are about to cut off our bank account unless I return information from you within 2 months.
I managed to speak to someone today who did not really understand what I was talking about. This was one up on the two previous discussions that I have had when people promised to ring me back with answers but then failed so to do.
Basically your first paragraph is either ignorant, untrue or shows a woeful disregard for customer care and support.
In it you state, “We require certain information for us to comply with UK regulatory requirements and to help us manage the security and protection of our customer’s accounts”. You claim earlier in the paragraph that this is to enable you to fight financial crime and money laundering.
So let us just for a moment consider this in the context of your real requirements which were contained in the questionnaire which you also re-enclosed.
The questionnaire was headed “Information about Your Business”. You might just have guessed from our name, “Wavertree Liberal Democrats”, that we are not, in fact a business. That is why more than half the questions on your form are either totally irrelevant or have to be fiddled with to give you an answer of any meaning at all.
Did no-one in your Bank have the intelligence to have a look at our account? Had they done so they would have seen an account which is clearly not a business; which is clearly part of a concern which operates in the UK only; which has a modest turnover and has been around for many years?
I understand from the lady I spoke to earlier that anyone with an account like ours has similarly been pestered by your Bank for information which should have been absolutely obvious to someone with GCSE Banking never mind the munchkins in your Head Office who devise questionnaires of this nature.
Quite simply what the Law, (both European and UK) requires is for Banks to have in place proportionate and effective methods to ensure that irregularities do not take place. Any simple test would have revealed that our account had not been used for nefarious purposes; is not being used for nefarious purposes and is highly unlikely ever to be used for nefarious purposes.
So you are spending your time and money asking for information which is of no value for the purposes that you request it. This in turn has caused hundreds of thousands of business and enterprises small, medium and large to take time away from production and profit making to answering questions that you could have answered yourself with a bare minimum thought.
So before I do waste more of my time on this matter I would be grateful if you would reply to this letter. To ensure that the motives and imperatives of the Bank are fully understood I am sending a copy of this letter to the Rt Hon Vince Cable, Secretary of State at BIS. I know he rails against this sort of petty bureaucracy when we all need to be fighting for our Country’s well being.
I am also putting this letter (minus the names of guilty parties) on my blog. I will, of course, publish your reply in the same place when you do reply to Vince Cable and me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Liverpool Liberal Democrats
PS I have just remembered. My wife is a shareholder in a very small way of your company – but then aren’t we all!?