'Buy British in banking?' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
Click reply to discuss below.


  • astreix
    astreix Posts: 237
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I don't get the argument that buying british when it come to banking helps jobs in this country.

    Banks which might not have British ownership, still have people for day to day operations based in UK the same as if they were British owned. In case of Abbey for example, because they now have a spanish owner, all jobs haven't moved to spain.

    Even ICICI which is the subsidiary of an indian bank, has branches and people employed in the UK for its UK business. OK the call centre is probably in Mumbai or Bangalore, but that could have been the case even if it was British owned. Barclays which is a British bank sometimes back transferred lots of back office jobs to India to save cost.

    So does it really matter from a job creation point of view who the owner of the bank is?
  • Fudge1977
    Fudge1977 Posts: 7 Forumite
    Hmmm. Maybe my comment on the ICICI thread wasn't too well thought out but it was made with best intentions.

    The point I was trying to make was that the ownership probably shouldn't be pointed out as, assuming the levels of cover are adequate, it doesn't matter. Having said that, as a suggestion, I wondered whether it was worth referencing British banks as and when they come up. On reflection, that could possibly look even more xenophobic!

    Martin made an excellent point about international banking and highlighted that it wasn't that easy.... good point well made.

    So, I'm still buying locally, i'm still buying British where I can do and I appreciate that my money stashed in a Shanghai bank account would be better off in a Spanish one because they'd give me £100 to move! (i've had good service - i'll never be rich!)

    On another note I want to point out that I work for a charity and have been fortunate to see how extremely lucky we are that banks, regardless of ultimate ownership, often invest heavily in the communities that they serve. I don't want to open up a discussion about alterior motives but they put a great deal back in to many projects and don't often get thanked.
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
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    Money Saving Expert
    Hi Fudge,

    Please don't think I was having a go - I thought it was an interesting point - but wanted to show the difference between the theory and the practice. Much like "what is buying a UK car"; deciding to stick within national purchase values for many products these days is difficult.

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • Fudge1977
    Fudge1977 Posts: 7 Forumite
    Hi Martin,

    Not at all - it's a really good point that I hadn't considered at the time.

    The analogy of car production is a good one. I guess if we want to go an a moral crusade, then we can bank where there are British branches / call centres regardless of ownership. And we can drive there in a Nissan Qashquai.... Japanese owned but built in Britain!

    Loving your work!

  • Mozette
    Mozette Posts: 2,247 Forumite
    How about Nationwide? Another bonus being that they're not a bank!
  • wenyi
    wenyi Posts: 18 Forumite
    If British people choose to use only "British-owned! banks, and the rest of the world reciprocated, it would hurt Britain far more than most other countries.

    Apart from the difficulty of identifying what "British" is in this context, the UK does far more banking business abroad than "foreign" banks do in the UK.

    What's sauce for the goose, etc!

  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199
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    Surely the answer is Northern Rock or NS&I. Not that I've got anything with either.
  • siliconbits
    siliconbits Posts: 389
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Interestingly this also applies to utilities, cars and even cosmetics. Most are foreign owned anyway, more often than not by the Frenchies: Garnier, L'oreal, Renault, Airbus, GDF/EDF, Orange, Peugeot. Buying British sometimes may be very, very difficult.
    :rolleyes: Links are a man's best friends.com
  • A few years ago i went into the toilets at our local Tesco and they had one of their notices up about always checking the condition of the toilets, etc

    At the bottom of this notice was their slogan "Every Little Helps". Some bright spark had got out their marker pen and blacked out the first and last letter so the slogan then became "very little help" - far more accurate methinks! :rotfl:
  • prowla
    prowla Posts: 13,097
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Well, I try and buy British and all that, but I had a run-in with an unpleasant (British) chap at Marbles the other day and complained, and got a letter back saying they had no record of the conversation.
    I'm now looking for another credit card.
    It is difficult to buy British when you are faced with crap and insulting customer service.
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