How much taxpayers’ money have the Irish banks received? If there was an aggregate total of the money take from working people to bail out AIB, Bank of Ireland, Irish Nationwide, that organised fraud called Anglo-Irish Bank, and the other financial institutions that have driven the country into penury, what would the total per person be?
It might be reasonable to expect that institutions dependent upon the largesse of a taxpaying public who remain strangely passive would show some degree of graciousness; humility would be too much to expect from people who reckon they are worth more than half a million a year, but a touch of remorse would at least be a sign that they recognize the damage they have caused.
Reading the small print on the front page of the Visa statement, there is not a trace of any regret for the greed that has destroyed our economy. They seem more than ever determined to extract the maximum degree of profit from every account holder. The terms probably always applied, but only recently did I notice that they were being flaunted at the beginning of the statement’
What about interest payments – which are 16.8% APR from a bank that pays savers miniscule interest rates:
No Interest will be charged on purchases if you always pay the full amount shown on your statement by the due date. If the balance is not cleared in full, you will be charged interest on the full amount.
It always seemed extraordinary that such a clause was legal. Presumably it means that if one owes €10,000 and pays €9,900, the €100 shortfall with give the bank licence to charge interest on the full €10,000. In what over business would a 1% shortfall in a payment allow the imposition of such extortionate penalties?
The other striking line was about the effect of making only the minimum payment each month:
If you make only your minimum repayment each month you will not clear your current balance until 27/02/2026.
The sum owing was about €3,000, the minimum payment was about €100. It would take 14 years and nine months and €17,700 to clear a €3,000 balance according to this advice, can that really be the case?
The statement was only of passing interest; we have a rule never to pay anything on the credit card that cannot be covered by cash in the bank, the card is a matter of convenience. But what of those who are seriously indebted? Are the banks being allowed to pursue confiscatory policies against people whose taxes are keeping the banks afloat?
It would make you wonder why those who present themselves as arbiters of right and wrong, the men in the mitres, say nothing?