LETTER: Are banks money shops or business partners?

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From Mr Jeremy Shaw

Sir: The real issue which society needs to consider regarding the Lloyds Bank case is the astonishing position which banks occupy in the high-street hierarchy. As a breed they have done a remarkable job in elevating themselves to a moral high ground where the bank manager is regarded on a par with the local doctor, headmaster and priest.

Banks themselves go to some trouble to train this attitude into their managers, who spout phrases like "think of us as a business partner" at the slightest provocation. The truth is that banks are shops for money, no more. A bank manager is unlikely to have any more business acumen than the manager of the local Dixons, and very probably less.

I have every sympathy with the couple who, albeit foolishly, thought that they could rely on their bank for sound business advice. But the sooner society realises that there is nothing sacred about banking, the sooner these sad episodes will pass into history.

Yours faithfully,

Jeremy Shaw



6 September