Have you noticed how the banks have been trying to humanise themselves through their adverts recently?
I first noticed it with the Nationwide advert which was aired in the run-up to Father’s Day. It’s a real tearjerker.
I won’t go into the details as I’m sure you will have seen it. Suffice it to say that the storyline involves an old scarf which gets lost on the bus, and which a Nationwide employee finds and returns: all set to a simple piano tune and a querulous voice singing deeply emotional words.
I don’t know about you, but I find it offensive the way it attempts to play on my emotions in order to sell me financial services.
After that I started noticing all the other adverts too: the Halifax, with its “you’re our kind of person” advert; Barclays, with its jaunty “today I’ll buy my little boy a treat” song; or Santander with its call for us to keep doing whatever it is we’re doing.
It’s all very nice, and it shows how deeply these banks must care for us, that they have paid so much attention to our concerns.
As if. It’s a classic psychopath’s trick. Banks don’t have emotions. They are institutions dedicated to maximising their own profits, by whatever means they can: whatever they can get away with, which has included outright fraud in the past.
Take HSBC as an example. It is busy changing its name at the moment. It stopped being “the world’s local bank” a while back, having been caught laundering Mexican drug money by American prosecutors in 2012.
If you or I were caught laundering drug money we would be in Jail. Not so the banks or their employees, it seems. They can do what they like until they get caught, after which they confess, pay a fine, and then get back to the business of finding new ways of siphoning off our money for themselves.