Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why UK Banks Don't Tweet

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the gentlemen-don't-read-one-another's-tweets dept.

Twitter 106

An anonymous reader writes "Banks in Great Britain are running scared of using social media services like Facebook and Twitter — owing to case law that dates from 1924." That case law "means financial services companies can't publicly identify an individual who has an account with them," so responding to customer inquiries in other than the traditional ways (like post and in-person) could get banks in trouble.

cancel ×

106 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wait, (1)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548156)

Do US Banks tweet?

Re:Wait, (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548162)

dont know about US, but Indian banks do, as do Indian telcos

Re:Wait, (1, Troll)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548220)

Cuz that's what you want your bank to do. Tweet your name, account number, balance, and any other personal information they may have about you, in response to a tweet from you.

Re:Wait, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548260)

Exactly, what would anyone gain from freaking banks tweeting? And yet you Americans still act surprised when someone steals your identity or you get scammed??

There is no good use for banks in tweeting, and that is completely insecure way to handle financial stuff.

Re:Wait, (1)

satuon (1822492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548274)

At least Twitter now has the option for https.

Re:Wait, (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548312)

thus ensuring the mass publication of your personal information isn't intercepted by anybody between the bank and Twitter?

Re:Wait, (1)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551716)

There are plenty of reasons banks might want to take advantage of tweeting:

* Letting customers know when they're offering better rates.

* Reminding customers who work in the private sector and don't normally comprehend "Columbus Day" as a non-business-day that they're having a long weekend.

* Wire the alarm to automatically tweet customers that there's a robbery in process. That might be a bad idea if the robber's phone gets the tweet (he'd have to be really paranoid, or just a really meticulous planner to go in prepared for that), but it also might save a customer who was on his way to the bank from walking into the line of fire (oh, I forgot: no criminal in England has a gun, or has even thought about getting one; robberies there consist of politely asking "I say, good chap, would you mind terribly putting all of your shillings into this sack post-haste?").

Re:Wait, (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548374)

What's next? Health clinics?

"Your culture tested positive for facial herpes. No kissing for a bit ok?"

Re:Wait, (4, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548578)

I'm pretty sure you realise this, but that's not what any company uses Twitter for. They don't reveal personal/account details. But for quick, generic queries, Twitter is an excellent way to do customer service.

My mobile telephone company uses Twitter and I've used it for asking general questions about plans, prices, availability of new phones etc. They use it to announce new services, or outage notices (e.g. "Having some issues with our towers in location X, should be back to normal by 8am tomorrow!") and things like that. I've had some issues/questions resolved by going down this route in a matter of minutes, as opposed to sitting on their customer service phone line on hold for 30 minutes then finally getting some idiot who doesn't know the answer to your question anyway.

Plus, you can also use it for customer or account-specific queries as well, provided you already have a ticket number lodged. So lets say you called with a problem the other day and were given a ticket number. You might want to provide them with some updated info, or see what progress has been made with the issue. So you can tweet "hey any news on yet? Ticket #12345". A ticket number is useless to anyone but the company and no personal information gets revealed. My ISP does this and you usually get a reply on Twitter in a matter of minutes.

Can't see why this kind of thing can't work for banks either (although admittedly the scope of things going 'wrong' at a bank is less: maybe some ATM outages, or general enquiry* about interest rates and accounts etc.)

---
* Why the hell is Chrome underlining enquiry as being misspelt? Argh, 'misspelt' too! FFS! You'd think for a global company which has properly localised versions of all their other products and websites, that Google could put an option for Commonwealth/International English into Chrome, rather than assuming everyone uses US English. Worse than bloody Microsoft!

Re:Wait, (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548628)

I work in telecom for quite some years now and the outages are not as common in industrialized world. Perhaps you live in non-industrialized one?

Re:Wait, (2)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548682)

Outages was one example. Not the most common one but the first thing that sprung to mind that people would find useful to know. I live in Australia which is most definitely industrialised, but floods and storms etc. happen and can cause short term disruption to phone networks as I'm sure you are aware!

Snarky little comment too: do you really think a telco in the non-industrialised world would use ~Twitter~ of all things?

Re:Wait, (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548888)

Snarky little comment too: do you really think a telco in the non-industrialised world would use ~Twitter~ of all things?

Why not? They're apparently skipping over some of the intervening steps in technological development (e.g., going straight to wireless telecoms because it means less cost with rolling out copper cables/fiber).

Re:Wait, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549742)

Wow...you managed to miss the entire point of the GP's post and instead focused on an example used for illustration. Astounding.

Re:Wait, (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549892)

Maybe you don't work in customer service then, where you get the outage complaints directly? Or you don't work for Comcast, Time Warner or Cablevision. The first being a problem for me here in Houston, and the other two having many annoying outage periods when I lived in NYC.
 

Re:Wait, (2)

LazyBoot (756150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549106)

Why the hell is Chrome underlining enquiry as being misspelt? Argh, 'misspelt' too! FFS! You'd think for a global company which has properly localised versions of all their other products and websites, that Google could put an option for Commonwealth/International English into Chrome, rather than assuming everyone uses US English. Worse than bloody Microsoft!

You need to look harder... I'm currently using "English (United Kingdom)" and have been for quite a while.

Re:Wait, (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35556552)

Ok I had to Google it but I found the setting. I swear I've looked through Chrome's options dozens of times and never seen it! > Thanks for the heads up.

Re:Wait, (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549458)

What makes twitter different from email in these "personal" communication examples? Other than the obvious 140chars limit.

Re:Wait, (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35556564)

For company -> consumer directions, it's more like a broadcast. By acknowledging a problem up front (or answering a question that many people may have) in a public forum such as Twitter, it potentially saves many, many extra calls/emails to customer service.

For consumer -> company direction there's no real difference, other than if someone else is having the same issue they can see your communication (and the response), and potentially avoid having to contact the company themselves. Plus it seems to be quicker than email my experience (in terms of how quick the company responds).

Re:Wait, (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548880)

If we don't have a law like that, we should. It would be illegal under HIPPA for a doctor to tweet like that. Look, guys, there's no reason whatever for a bank to use social networking. Email, sure, but not facebook. They're different tools for different purposes. You don't use a butter knife to tighten a screw if you have a screwdriver handy.

Re:Wait, (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549542)

Look, guys, there's no reason whatever for a bank to use social networking. Email, sure, but not facebook.

The irony being TFA telling us that the bank _is_ using Facebook.

Just not for individual account servicing activities.

Re:Wait, (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549798)

Doctors can tweet in general, but they just shouldn't be publicly replying to patients about their test results via Twitter etc..

Re:Wait, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548238)

Some Canadian Banks do, like ING Direct http://twitter.com/superstarsaver

AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548160)

Can they just post as Anonymous Coward instead?

Re:AC (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548262)

I suppose so. If I need to withdraw some money can you help me with that? Should I send you my account details?

Re:AC (2)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548290)

No need to. We can look them up in your Facebook profile.

Banks in the USA (3, Interesting)

prakslash (681585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548170)


In case you are wondering what kind of 'twittering' banks engage in, here is a sample [banktwitter.com] from some banks in the USA.

Re:Banks in the USA (3, Insightful)

fivevoltforest (2012744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548204)

I can't believe that this is what the world has come to. "What time does the bank close?" "I don't know, you should tweet them to find out!" (http://www.banktwitter.com/banks/Bank-of-America)

Re:Banks in the USA (1, Insightful)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548600)

It's nice being able to get customer-service answers from all the companies I deal with in a single place. And also to follow all those companies so that you can get all news that might be relevant to you, from any company, in one place. That's basically how I use Twitter: like some kind of glorified RSS feed that has the added advantage of being two-way when required. Noone really follows me (since I don't tweet), but I follow plenty of news sites/companies/etc.

For simple queries where you need a quick response (like 'what time do you close'), its generally much quicker than calling them and being on hold for an hour, or emailing them and getting the usual '5-7 business days' response. IM on the website would work for that too but the advantage of something like Twitter is that you have clients for all kinds of devices (whereas some piece of code on a website to implement IM may or may not work on some browsers, phones, etc.).

Also, it's not like having a Twitter account automatically means every other avenue of communication doesn't exist anymore, ya know? Feel free to use other methods if you prefer. Adding an option harms nobody.

Re:Banks in the USA (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548724)

> For simple queries where you need a quick response (like 'what time do you close')

1. Go to Bank's website
2. Select city
3. Select branch
4. Read answer

As opposed to going on to Twitter and hoping that someone from the relevant branch magically answers your query.

Re:Banks in the USA (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 3 years ago | (#35552302)

hoping that someone from the relevant branch magically answers your query.

Meh, indeed, people are lazy asses... I've sometimes posted links to the Google result page to stupid questions people ask me over IM, but that's the way it is, people are too lazy to navigate around a bank's site and it's easier to get someone else to do it...

Re:Banks in the USA (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549166)

It's also a way to vent insatisfaction with a bank service (usually internet banking) or other kinds of complaint.

Re:Banks in the USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549538)

My problem with your response is that you seem to think that the only avenue for finding information is by having someone else tell it to you. What ever happened to being the slightest bit resourceful and looking up the info for yourself? It's not like it's hard to find. It's less effort, and you'd have your answer faster than waiting for someone else to respond to you. Idiocracy indeed.

Re:Banks in the USA (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35556538)

Well for simple things like finding opening hours on a well-designed website, I agree with you.

However a lot of sites are awful and it takes a while to find the bit with the opening hours (if they are even listed at all), or the sites rely on flash too much and you happen to be browsing from an iPhone, or they simply are impractical to use on small-screen mobile devices etc. I can think of some scenarios where it's useful. But yeah if I'm sitting at home and I know the info will be on a website, I'll do it that way obviously.

Re:Banks in the USA (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35553330)

Why is twitter faster? If they're too busy to answer the phone, and too busy to respond to email, then it's guaranteed that they don't have the time to engage in frivolous tweeting.

Re:Banks in the USA (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#35556516)

Don't know why, but it always is much faster in the times I've used it (compared to dealing with the same company via other means). I agree that this ~shouldn't~ actually be happening this way. But it seems to be the reality.

Some possible explanations:

- Because it's informal, it might not have the same issue tracking requirements etc. as other means. Thus being quicker and more likely for a customer service rep to take the 5 seconds required to answer it; or

- It's handled by a different team, and because only a minority of customers use the Twitter option, the pool of issues dealt with by that team is smaller and thus they get around to you quicker.

Re:Banks in the USA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548330)

Idiocracy was not supposed to be a manual.
If they want instant messaging it should be done on their website and nowhere else.

Re:Banks in the USA (3, Informative)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548862)

"Text banking custs, if u lose ur mobile device or chng ur mobile # update ur profile"

Well, time to change bank to one that can spell "you".

Re:Banks in the USA (1)

EricX2 (670266) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551322)

Banks have the same character limit as regular users, plus if they are talking to 'text banking custs' don't you think hey should talk the same language?

Re:Banks in the USA (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551484)

The tweet in question:

Signing off 4 weekend. Text banking custs, if u lose ur mobile device or chng ur mobile # update ur profile @ mobile.wellsfargo.com #WFCtips

(140 characters by @Ask_WellsFargo)

What it would be if they didn't decide to cram two completely separate messages in under the character limit:

Text banking customers: if you lose your mobile device or change your mobile number, update your profile at mobile.wellsfargo.com #WFCtips

(138)

Signing off for the weekend, insert some nonsense about getting back to them monday here, etc, etc.

Twitter is an exercise in brevity, to be sure, but this is a bank. I'm sure they pay the man enough that he can hit "Post" twice.

How insipid and censorious. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35555554)

None of the tweets to more than 2 levels deep.

Its like they take the tweeter into a back room somewhere ... and strangle him.

But that what they want.

They opened all of those Twitter accounts in order to shut people up.

They leave one "gardian" service rep on a bunch of accounts and when a tweet comes in, their job is to detract, distract, defer, refer and destroy the evidence.

Thanks for the trivia (1)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548172)

Did you know that Yeti has the biggest carbon footprint?

Re:Thanks for the trivia (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548348)

Only when the North American variety isn't taken into account. I've seen pictures of its carbon footprint.

It's better to play it safe. (1)

Conrthomas (1993390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548186)

I guess I would have to agree, if I saw my bank posting things everywhere on Facebook and Twitter about me being a member of theirs, I might be slightly annoyed, even though it's more like one of those "technologically-oblivious but still over-concerned" arguments that people like my parents use. Still I suppose it's better to be safe, because no doubt there's *someone* that would overreact. Oh yeah, and following laws and contracts is good too.

Sigh (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548222)

Here I was hoping the reason would be "Because it's fucking retarded, and the executives of UK banks have brains." Oh well.

Re:Sigh (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548530)

Agreed. How about just answering the phone when I call in for help?

I have had great experiences with support persons at my bank. They answer the phone reasonably swiftly and are very polite when we talk and they always seem to do as much as they can to truly help me instead of just get me off the phone. Put more effort into that and less into playing with the latest darling technology of the hipsteratti.

Re:Sigh (1)

me at werk (836328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548782)

Some people post stupid questions out loud on Twitter. They expect one of their friends to help them use google, so companies are more and more joining twitter to do that. Plus, some people honestly believe that the only way to get support is via Twitter because they read an article in their newspaper (the paper one, they don't understand the internet) about Frank Elison from Comcast. Example tweets from the link prakslash posted [slashdot.org] show people asking what time their local BofA branch is open, and someone from BofA responding telling them how to use the bank locator which happens to also tell people hours (something revolutionary that companies like Burger King and McDonalds have yet to grasp, hours on a website, amazing).

Re:Sigh (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549196)

(something revolutionary that companies like Burger King and McDonalds have yet to grasp, hours on a website, amazing).

Most fast food chains are franchised, it's likely that individual branches have a fair degree of autonomy over their opening hours.

Getting the opening hours from every franchisee and putting them on a website would be relatively easy. Keeping them up to date, however, would be another matter entirely.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549574)

...the executives of UK banks have brains.

You thought that might be the reason!? You need to pay more attention to the news.

Re:Sigh (1)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35554710)

you must have investment banks in mind

Good Rule (3, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548250)

Actually now that I know of the existence of that rule I kind of like it. There's really no need for a bank to tweet anyway:

"All this money in my vault is getting itchy now".

Great bank. Thanks for sharing.

Re:Good Rule (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549444)

Banks don't have money in their vaults. They have loan agreements in their vaults.
 

Re:Good Rule (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35550148)

So wait, all that money people deposit over the counter isn't in a vault? Clearly I should have gone into bank robbery rather than IT.

Re:Good Rule (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551494)

"So wait, all that money people deposit over the counter isn't in a vault? Clearly I should have gone into banking rather than IT."

fixed that for you. -

Paper money is a loan agreement (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35555844)

For one thing, most money in circulation isn't currency; it's numbers in a bank account. (See various definitions of the money supply [wikipedia.org] .) For another, most of what people deposit over the counter is money only by fiat; it's a loan agreement guaranteed by the United States Government. At least gold has another use, namely to gold-plate an electrical connector or a piece of jewelry.

Yay Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548278)

Why do I click on my bookmark for Slashdot anymore? What is it up to now, 50% stupid? I know the origination is the article...but come on guys, lets cover intelligent ones vs. nonsense.

Re:Yay Slashdot (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549304)

I know the origination is the article

origin (noun)

originate (verb form of origin)

Origination (noun form of originate)

Next up: originationate (verb form of origination)....

Re:Yay Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549688)

Hey grandpa, Twitter is relevant in today's technological world. It may be inane and stupid but masses of people use it, apparently even banks.

Technology and its uses interest me, even the "stupid" stuff and especially the things that lots of people use because there is a possibility that it could shape future technologies.

thankfully not! (4, Insightful)

ushere (1015833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548282)

i really don't need my bank, and especially its staff wasting time 'socialising' - that time could be better spent either improving their service or paying additional bonuses to their ceo's....

Re:socializing and service (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548398)

Maybe they are the same thing in a Web 2.0 World.

ARE YOU READY TO TWEET!! ARE YOU READY TO TWEET ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548300)

Tweedily deedily dee Tweedily deedily dee
Tweedily deedily dee Tweedily deedily dee
Tweedily deedily dee Tweedily deedily dee
Tweedily deedily dee Tweedily deedily dee
Tweet tweet tweet tweet

He rocks in the treetops all day long
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and a-singin' his song
All the little birds on J-Bird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

Rockin' robin (tweet tweet tweet);
Rock rock rockin' robin (tweet tweedle-dee);
Go rockin' robin we're really gonna rock tonight
Every little swallow every chickadee
Every little bird in the tall oak tree
The wise old owl the big black crow
Flappin' their wings singin' go bird go

The pretty little raven at the bird man stand
Taught him how to do the bop and it was grand
He started goin' steady and "bless my soul"
He out-bopped the buzzard and the oriole

He rocks in the treetops all day long
Hoppin' and a-boppin' and a-singin' his song
All the little birds on J-Bird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet

Banks in Australia (1)

cyssero (1554429) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548366)

If UK folk are wondering, yes, banks in other countries do use Twitter to engage with their customers. In Australia the big-4 banks actively use Twitter and compete for followers - http://www.news.com.au/business/cba-westpac-anz-nab-compete-for-facebook-fans-twitter-followers/story-e6frfm1i-1226015116016 [news.com.au]

"Signing off 4 the weekend." (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548378)

Why do several tweets from different banks on http://www.banktwitter.com/ all start off with "Signing off 4 the weekend"? Are they copying and pasting off each other?

heaven for banks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548460)

You must be freaking serious?
Any possibility of finding a leak from a bank is excluded, the moment third party is involved in communication, the party who does not warranty quality/security of communication.

"Ou well, though shi*, tweeter sold your data to third party company, sorry bout that." or "ou well sorry, it's tweeters fault, unfortunately they don't offer any secure communication way, would you prefer facebook instead? "

Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548468)

If they have any sense the UK bankers are not tweeting so we are not reminded about their thieving asses. If the UK public remember the bankers exist and remember how they bankrupted the public purse for private gain, the UK populace just might start acting like the Libyan populace and rebelling. Who here wouldn't cheer the lynching of the bankers?

The UK has a lot of anger, a lot of lamp-posts and plenty of rope. I wouldnt be at all suprised if the security types at the big banks advice is: Keep a low profile if you want to keep spending that stolen bonus on anything other than bodyguards.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (3, Insightful)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548872)

You do realise that when the banks are sold again by UKFI, the Treasury (and by extension the "public purse") stands to make a huge profit by the simple act of buying the shares low and selling them high, right?

You also do realise that most banks are private institutions who have received no government support (and so can spend their "stolen" bonus money however they damn well like it), don't you? And that at the end of the day their money has been legitimately earned through perfectly legal business activities? You think they charge too much - fine, but they have every right to do so.

The "bankers" didn't "bankrupt the public purse". That's a facile (and depressingly common) point of view, and one that happens to be almost entirely incorrect.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549008)

Idiot.

The entire banking system has benefited by a massive cash injection into the economy from the public purse. Money which unlike the direct support for the likes of RBS, we will never get back.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550632)

The entire banking system has benefitted, but so has car retailers and funeral homes. Should they reimburse the government as well? Clueless fucking retard.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551580)

Can the car retailers and funeral homes borrow virtually unlimited quantities of money from the government at nearly zero interest rates?

The banking industry has a legal monopoly on the creation of money.

They can do this: Person or corporation X gets a loan. Banks increases an accumulator in a bank account, and puts a corresponding money owed in their database. Person X can withdraw money and use it for real world stuff and convince people to do things they want. Money, which is enforced by the government to be legal tender, was created.

If somebody else who is not a bank tries it, they are arrested and sent to prison.

A normal person---and all other businesses except banks---can only loan out 1x the money they own.

There are some limits set by the government, banks can only do it up to a mere 20, or 30 or 40 times their stockholder's investments.

These same banks who make really big profits use those same profits to convince the government to lower those restrictions and exempt more and more profit making activities from those regulations, even though just a few years ago their foolishness caused a major economic crisis affecting the world economy---but hardly impacting the personal wealth (just the accumulation rate, temporarily) of most of the people who caused it.

In a true "free market banking", the ``money'' that banks lend would never bee deemed to be legal tender unless it is stockholder's capital.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549102)

Last I checked Northern Rock was nationalized by the government and taken into state ownership. But I suppose they can still spend their "stolen" £13m bonus money however they damn well like.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549284)

if you or I received a 0% interest rate loan from an uncle then the IRS would call that "income".

so how can you claim that banks who received 0% loans from uncle sam, received no government support?

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549852)

"Sell high". You are joking surely. These UK banks are loaded with toxic crap. They will be sold off cheap. Alternatively the toxic crap will be separated off, the good stuff sold for a reasonable price and the taxpayer funds the losses on the crap.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (3, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549918)

You also do realise that most banks are private institutions who have received no government support (and so can spend their "stolen" bonus money however they damn well like it), don't you?

Lloyds TSB was pushed into taking on HBOS, which was insolvent, and as a result had to go cap in hand to the government. Lloyds own Halifax, Bank of Scotland, Cheltenham and Gloucester and Birmingham Midshires.

Royal Bank of Scotland - who also own Natwest and Ulster Bank - also took a huge bailout.

They may not be an outright majority of banks - they may not even have more than 50% of the UK retail banking market - but to talk it down like "most banks... have received no government support" is to vastly understate the size of the bailout.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35554296)

Royal Bank of Scotland - who also own Natwest and Ulster Bank - also took a huge bailout.

They took a huge investment. The money wasn't just given to them - the government get ownership through preference share ownership. Assuming that both those banks end up in better nick over the next few years, those shares will be worth far more than the government paid for them and the state will be on to a very tidy profit.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1)

bye (87770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35556942)

RBS was insolvent , i.e. worth much less than its outstanding debt. It had a negative value, to the tune of tens of billions of pounds.

It would have been a far better deal for the general public to let those banks go into receivership and then bail them out and get 100% of the RBS shares . That's what happens to mom and pop shops when they go bankrupt, if an external investor thinks the business is worth salvaging (sans the bailing out bit).

"Bailing the banks out" without receivership was simply theft: the general public should now own all of the bank - not just 'preferential shares'. It is not a question whether the general public made any (paper ...) profits here, the question is, was the general public ripped off or not?

The thing is, the Treasury had the funds while these insolvent banks did not - so why was this situation not handled in the same way as one private bank handles another private bank going bankrupt? Do you ever see competing banks 'bailing out' insolvent competitors? Why not? Because it makes no economic sense: they instead wait for receivership and buy the useful parts of the business on the fire sale. They also fire all of the management that led to the bankruptcy and definitely do not pay them any bonuses. For what? For losing tens of billions of pounds??

The executives should also stand trial for bankrupting those banks, if they did anything illegal or reckless in the years leading up to the bankruptcy. Those bonuses are not just outrageous, they are, in a moral sense, stolen goods.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549962)

> You also do realise that most banks are private institutions who have received no government support

Any bank which is allowed to use fractional reserve banking (ie all of them) receives public support as it is creating the money supply. If you were allowed to print billions of pounds in bank notes on condition that it burnt the same amount at a later date, then your effect on the economy as a whole would be the same as a bank. And, if you were granted that right, it would take a moron to not profit from it. Besides that the banking industry acted like such morons that they nearly blew up the entire economy anyway, at which point they were bailed out. The bail out was ongoing and saved the entire sector, it was not just the individual banks which were bailed out that benefited, it was all of them as they all owned each other's assets - without the bailout the entire system would have collapsed.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1)

joss (1346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551444)

> The "bankers" didn't "bankrupt the public purse".

The banks came to the brink of destroying the entire global economy. The bailouts saved the entire banking industry, as they were all ludicrously over-leveraged. Without the bailout they would have fallen like dominoes as they all had assets with each other. You're right.. they are private institutions and should not be allowed to be in this position. Any bank which is too big to fail needs to be split up.

Public anger against the banks has barely begun as the ill effects of what they were (and still are) doing is only just beginning to sink in. Forget about a bonus tax, what we need is, say, 90% of the money paid to the investment banking industry in the last 5 years to be reclaimed. We need to see senior bankers doing jail time before the truth of the situation is widely known otherwise we will lynchings and fire-bombs instead.

Re:Maybe to avoid a public lynching? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35556560)

You also do realise that most banks are private institutions who have received no government support

You do realise that you're talking utter crap, don't you?

All the banks are supported by the government guarantee which essentially insures a large amount of the money held for the customers in case the bank goes bust.

id? (1)

benjymous (69893) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548508)

I'd have thought that it's the customer publicly identifying themselves when they send a Twitter message to the bank in the first place.

UK Banks do Tweet (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548562)

Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland use Twitter as a means of customer service.

http://twitter.com/lloydstsbonline
http://twitter.com/Halifax_Online
http://twitter.com/bankofscot_help

Re:UK Banks do Tweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548696)

The list of shame?

*shakes head*

The banks that had to be bailed out and taken into semi-public ownership.... I say "semi-public ownseship" in the sense that a huge sum of taxpayer money was pumped into these failed institutions, yet we have no control over the obscene bonuses and farcical operating methods they employ. Tweets as a substitute for customer service? They're all fucking MAD.

Re:UK Banks do Tweet (3, Informative)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#35549604)

You do realise those are all brands of the same bank?

On the SEC... (2)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548564)

In the US, I wished that the SEC would allow tweeting material info to meet the requirements of Reg FD.

You couldb't fit the disclaimer in a tweet (4, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548624)

Banks couldn't fit their required legal content (regulatory bodies, contact info, privacy statement and all the rest) in a tweet, let alone make any meaningful response. Likewise a customer with a complaint couldn't say much more than "you took my money".

Things like this need an audit trail. They need proper recording and most of all they need credibility. Tweeting (and FB, for that matter) don't offer any of these. They're fine for children to fantasise about who they luuuuuuuuuuuv that week (or hour) but for real-world applications they are worthless.

Even if banks did tweet I can't see any customers with an ounce of sense using the facility. Who'd put their account data in such an unsecured and unvalidated form?

Re:You couldb't fit the disclaimer in a tweet (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548716)

Banks couldn't fit their required legal content [...] in a tweet

There are a lot of things that don't fit in a tweet, that's why people use URL-shortening services and include links.

why millions don't get to eat; not old enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548676)

tweet that. banks (theft usury weapons financing) are the cause of several 'days of being underage' not going well for the uncountdead of the creators' innocents. as we've learned from history?, that doesn't just wash away.

weapons peddlers staging fatal light shows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548906)

overkill is their bread & butter. it's those images we must focus on, they say. rockets red glare, crap exploding in the air, that stuff. sing along?

Not exactly true. (2)

PixelSmack (837457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548728)

Here is the Twitter account of Lloyds TSB (A British Bank) https://twitter.com/LloydsTSBOnline/ [twitter.com] - it does seem to be the only one though.

Re:Not exactly true. (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35548854)

They might legally be in the clear, since no account information is exchanged. Someone with an account and someone without an account can equally ask for and get generic troubleshooting advice, so their response doesn't confirm the individual actually has an account.

Though the "Send your (phone) number via Direct Message" (which came up in one recent public tweet) sounds concerning. Third-party communication systems shouldn't be assumed private (which is also why I wouldn't communicate with my bank via email unless they miraculously figure out how to use PGP.)

"Running Scared"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35548884)

Does this mean something different in the UK than the US?

I can't imagine banks in the UK would be hysterically afraid of twitter.

Fractional reserve banking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549216)

If you don't understand what fractional reserve banking is, you can't understand why the modern world is the way it is. Fractional reserve banking is the reason you have to work five days a week, just to keep a roof over your head. Fractional reserve banking is the reason behind most of the world's wars. Fractional reserve banking is the reason your children won't be able to afford their own houses until they're at least 35.

Re:Fractional reserve banking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549260)

Speak for yourself. Fractional reserve banking is the reason MY children can afford 5 houses before they're even born.

Re:Fractional reserve banking (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551174)

Fractional reserve banking is why you, your children, their children, and on won't have to work as peasants on some feudal lord's land.

Sure, it's mostly garbage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35549320)

I don't get universal contempt of Twitter as if it's absolutely worthless. Yeah, there's a lot of useless 'information' on Twitter, but the service does actually have value as a means to share interesting or practical tidbits of information or as a replacement for RSS feed tracking.

Oh wait, I do understand. It's 'cool' to hate Twitter.

Why I don't Tweet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35550700)

RSS feeds are more productive as I can't say anything in 140 letters or less so I may as well shutup.

The question is: Why? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551266)

What possible value could using these various forms of social media have to the bank or their customers? Not value to the likes of Zuckerberg and his ilk.

I can see a few cases where a bank might tweet their current mortgage or credit card rates to a group of interested subscribers. But beyond that, I can see no value in giving third parties information on my financial transactions. Or even the existence of a relationship between myself and some institution.

Twitter, Facebook, and other similar services are one to many 'broadcast' technologies. Of what use is it to broadcast replies to customer inquiries?

This has to be a joke (1)

Time_Ngler (564671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35551432)

This article can't have been made in seriousness... come on... are we really arguing about whether it's a good idea to bank using twitter? We must be caught up in a bet Slashdot editors made late last night after several rounds of some substance.

I Miss This Tag... (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35552544)

so responding to customer inquiries in other than the traditional ways (like post and in-person) could get banks in trouble.

And nothing of value was lost.

And this is bad why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35552872)

Lets face it, neither Twitter or Facebook are anything close to secure. I personally don't want my bank putting anything customer specific in either of these. General marketing is fine. They are getting it right.

Bank problem is attitude as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35554610)

It's not just about this law - banks, like many companies, don't want to engage because they think they know best and also can't be bothered with the constant negativity that will be fired their way. I did an article about social media and banks [contently-managed.com] before which pointed this out - people who work in banks very often have a different way of thinking to the general person.

I have a question. (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35555670)

If you don't want a public answer, why ask a public question?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?