Calling BS on Banks

by @edent | , , , | 4 comments | Read ~277 times.

It's Time To Switch

Banks are fucking us over.

They gamble with our money, lose it, ask us for a bail out, lose more money, then ask us for yet another bail out!
They are resisting even the very modest changes the government is imposing on them.

No more.

We have a very easy way to stop the banks pissing about with our money. Take our money from them.

I'm not talking about taking out your savings for a few days. I'm talking about a permanent withdrawal of our consent. We take our money and we move it elsewhere. Move our money to somewhere safe, ethical, and local.

I think that it's time to move all our money to Building Societies.

Building Societies Are Better Than Banks

Building societies are owned by their members. If you're a saver or a borrower, you get a vote in how the business is run. That means there are no excessive profits, no fat cat bankers taking extortionate bonuses, and no gouging fees.

Building societies are safer. Banks try to make money by gambling on the stock market and the wholesale money markets. The Northern Rock bank gambled 75% of its customers' money - the average building society has 30% from the money markets. By law, the maximum that a building society can gamble is 50%.

Building societies are friendlier. They're all based in the UK, have UK call centres, and - because they're not beholden to shareholders - dedicated to serving their customers.

Building societies offer the same services as banks.

Quick Comparison

FeaturesBuilding SocietiesBanks
Current Accounts
Internet Banking
Ethical Investments
Community focussed
Risk your savings in a casino

Are There Any Building Societies Left?


There are 47 Building Societies in the UK.

Chances are, you have a branch of the Nationwide near you - but there are many smaller, local institutions you can do your banking with.

Most of them offer Internet and telephone banking, all of them let you withdraw your cash from any ATM,

Didn't Lots of Building Societies Become Banks?

Yes, many people thought that turning Building Societies into banks would be a great idea.

They were wrong.

There were several Building Societies which turned into banks. You can judge for yourselves whether they offer superior products or excellent customer services, but of those 10...

  • One was acquired by Barclays.
  • Two had to be bailed out by the government.
  • Three were bought by Lloyds.
  • Four were taken over by Santander.

What's Stopping You?

Switching accounts is fast, easy, and free. The FSA has has an excellent guide, but here are the basics.

Your old bank will only have three working days to start to process of moving you to your new building society. Your direct debits and standing orders will be transferred.

Once your application has been approved, the building society will have ten working days to set your new account.

The whole process will take less than two weeks. A fortnight to make a change for the better.

I've done it - what's stopping you?

Make the switch now.

4 thoughts on “Calling BS on Banks

  1. Great if you can do it - and I'm a huge supporter of mutuals (of course I am - I'm a Lib Dem). One problem though is that a lot of the people most fucked over by banks (like myself) are those with overdrafts. Unless you can afford to pay those off, they make it impossible to switch :-/

  2. Simon McG says:

    Nothing wrong with Building Societies but you have made a number of factual errors.

    Banks try to make money by gambling on the stock market. The Northern Rock bank gambled 75% of its customers money – the average building society has 30% invested in the stock market

    a) banks dont make (much) money 'gambling on the stock market'
    b) N Rock did not gamble 75% of its customers money. It has a very different problem. It lent money long term - on mortgages and borrowed in the short term money markets. When concerns started about its business model it could not borrow any more money. very different problem.
    The average BS does not have 30% of their money on the stock market.


    1. You are correct. the 75%, 50% and 30% figures refer to the wholesale money markets . Source: BSA analysis.

      When I refer to "gambling on the stock market" I meant all the forms of highly risk investments that banks usually do. This is typically called "Casino Banking".

      I will amend the article in the morning.

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Good if you can.

    Think I would have to reduce my fairly heavy overdraft before I can move though!

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