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'Is MSE getting too Political on bank charges?' blog discussion

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'Is MSE getting too Political on bank charges?' blog discussion

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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.

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  • 456789456789 Forumite
    2.3K posts
    I agree if MSE can help get these issues into the political arena and make them legislate on something worthwhile for once it is a good thing
  • The media is weaker in the long run when it stops being neutral, which is has regarding this campaign. It may feel strong at the time rallying everyone who already agrees with it, but over time a media that cannot be impartial serves very little purpose. In recent days I've seen GMTV say that this is their campaign, Radio 2 advertises the campaign on its website, I bought the Independent yesterday and its political editor says it is their campaign. People with a different point of view have no voice. That isn't democracy. A media that has thrown away disinterest is no longer the neutral space where we can collectively see a reflection of what we think as a society and can try to reach consensus.

    For those who want to know, my position is people with limited funds who may have made small mistakes and who banks have imposed high charges on should be spoken up for. I am willing to pay more for my banking for fairer charging. I don't agree that all cases will be deserving, for example irresponsible spending or badly run businesses should not be rewarded. Banks owe it to the majority of their customers, and I believe it is the majority, who have not incurred bank charges to be fair in how they correct any wrongs.
  • edited 28 August 2009 at 11:56PM
    MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K posts
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    edited 28 August 2009 at 11:56PM
    oakhouse13 wrote: »
    The media is weaker in the long run when it stops being neutral, which is has regarding this campaign. It may feel strong at the time rallying everyone who already agrees with it, but over time a media that cannot be impartial serves very little purpose. In recent days I've seen GMTV say that this is their campaign, Radio 2 advertises the campaign on its website, I bought the Independent yesterday and its political editor says it is their campaign. People with a different point of view have no voice. That isn't democracy. A media that has thrown away disinterest is no longer the neutral space where we can collectively see a reflection of what we think as a society and can try to reach consensus.

    For those who want to know, my position is people with limited funds who may have made small mistakes and who banks have imposed high charges on should be spoken up for. I am willing to pay more for my banking for fairer charging. I don't agree that all cases will be deserving, for example irresponsible spending or badly run businesses should not be rewarded. Banks owe it to the majority of their customers, and I believe it is the majority, who have not incurred bank charges to be fair in how they correct any wrongs.

    What a strange opinion? Where would we be without campaigning journalism . Its a long standing bastion of important social change. What is important is that if there is an agenda it is unambiguous, and out in the open.

    It could equally be argued that I am wrong by telling people that store cards at over 25% interest are the devils debt and should be avoided like the plague unless you pay them off in full and just want the sign up benefits. Should I be balanced and say "though they're very positive for the companies as they're profitable so you may want to think about that before you don't use them."

    Of course there are some dangers in journalism, for me the real issue is journalists who hide their aims, persuing agendas or personal vendattas yet try to describe it as unbiased.

    Some even lie to those they purport to work for once deciding they’ve got a story, find out its not true, but try and push it forward regardless Yet they are dangerous and a discredit to the profession.

    Yet taking a principled stance on a wide ranging issue trying to campaign to help the public is a key part of being a journalist. Yet you must let those you work with be aware you are doing so - and that you are agenda'd.

    When I work on programmes about bank charges, I also make sure the production staff know my stance before hand (which they usually do) and try often to make sure the viewer is aware of the stance.


    Depending on the role Im in I will put the other perspective too when needs be. Bank charges especially has been well debated - no one can deny the massive PR and legal might of the banks - and I've engaged in person, in public and in private with the BBA on it.

    Martin
    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
  • I think it is impossible to avoid becoming involved in politics when the issue affects so many people. It is bound to become a political issue as it is the sort of topic that politicians rightly realise will win them votes. As for being TOO political; surely it is a positive to have the issue debated by politicians as political action is called for - how else can we ensure that the banks are forced to toe the line (they won't do it on their own, that's already been proven)? I think as long as people are aware that any politicians that wade into the debate have their own agenda and votes to win, then surely we can make up our own minds and political involvement should be positive.
    ;) Working hard in the hopes of being 'lucky' ;)
  • edited 29 August 2009 at 12:39AM
    reduxredux Forumite
    22.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    edited 29 August 2009 at 12:39AM
    I'm slow off the mark this week, so I only just read the David Cameron reply as quoted in the email.

    Wondering if Martin had approached this a little naively, given Cameron's exploitation of the populist value deriving from the number of subscribers to the MSE email, snd the not very veiled suggestion that Martin does the research work on this issue, rather than the Shadow Cabinet themselves, then the Conservative Party take the credit, I clicked to read the discussion thread ......

    that's odd; it seems to no longer be there
  • MSE_Martin wrote: »
    What a strange opinion?

    It could equally be argued that I am wrong by telling people that store cards at over 25% interest are the devils debt and should be avoided like the plague unless you pay them off in full and just want the sign up benefits. Should I be balanced and say "though they're very positive for the companies as they're profitable so you may want to think about that before you don't use them."

    Martin


    Was your opening sentence really a question?

    The opinion is not really that strange. It does appear in the media at present that there is only one opinion and that is frustrating if it means that people do not know the consequence of their actions. How happy will people be in several years time when there is no more free banking?

    Many people who manage their finances sensibly think the escalation of this issue is the end of free banking for the sake of a quick windfall by those who are irresponsible in managing their bank accounts. I have been annoyed when a slight slip-up leads to banking charges bein imposed on me but a polite letter pointing out my loyal custom and usually good management of my account has ALWAYS resulted in the charges being withdrawn. People who habitually do not manage their accounts should be charged for this and I for one find the slating of banks and zealousness of people bragging (on these forums) about how much they are reclaiming from the banks quite sickening. And of course it is much easier to be lazy and do nothing at the time you are being charged and wait several years until someone produces a template for you and makes it easy.

    No doubt many of the people making these large claims are the same ones who voted to convert most of the building societies to banks several years ago, take their windfall pay-outs and now wonder why banks are only interested in their shareholders and not their customers.
    The banks will win in the end - not this issue perhaps but overall they will find a way to make back their money. Presumably those making the reclaim applications don't mind that because the cost will be spread among all of us.
    Finally, it is not at ALL the same as you suggesting someone takes out a high interest store card. No-one is suggesting that as a pro-consumer campaigner you should consider the banks but how about the rest of us who manage our bank accounts well and had the sense to vote for the building societies to stay mutual and who will undoubtedly pay for all this?
    Sara




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  • RuthnJasperRuthnJasper Forumite
    4K posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    Martin - you are SO right to involve politicians in this vital debate. My hardship claim has been refused by NatWest (apparently having £22 to live on every month is not "genuine hardship"!). The politicians are the people we vote for - they work for US, so it is right that they should understand and debate the issues that concern us.

    If we press the issue without political support, we would be branded 'rebels' or 'anarchists' or 'reactionary'; if we press the issue WITH the support of politicians, we are accused of becoming 'too politicised'!

    Just wish this whole business would hurry up and be resolved once and for all.

    http://jasper-thedogsblog.blogspot.com/
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