We were in the bank earlier today to open a new account.
While all the admin tasks were going on, I had a chance to look at my data, as viewed by a bank employee, and noticed some internal notes about my credit rating.
I made a point of asking the bank official what it meant, and he became very uncomfortable and gave me a very fuddled explanation as to how the bank may score individuals credit ratings and so on.
I listened to his general overview of their procedure, and then asked him how my specific rating looked through this particular lens. He again talked evasively and in very broad terms, and seemed to indicate that I was generally not the worst, again without giving me the exact feedback as he had it in front of him.
I was trying to explain to him, that seeing as I am self employed, I have to use my business banking representative to approve all personal finance credit decisions ( even though my personal finances should be my own business), however I use the same bank for both accounts, and this particular bank does not have a system in place whereby I can go to any branch and discuss my financial affairs.
Combine this with the fact that I leave messages with my business banker and frequently hear nothing back, and I’m pretty much left with on-line banking as my only means of sorting out my financial affairs.
Tough a case though this may be, I understand it. However, it occurred to me for the first time today, what a hypocritical system the internal credit scoring actually is. As soon as any level bank official opens my account details, they have large red glaring notices on the screen whereby bills were unpaid and so on.
While I am OK with that (as they all get paid in the end one way or another), there is no clear indication on their system that I follow up and pay ALL my bills, as money comes in through our business, and we never refuse to pay. In short, like everybody else, we have to find a way, or face the hostility of the credit collection services that are booming at the moment and seem to be staffed by complete thugs.
In short, while we may be forced to miss a payment on the day, it always goes through within a few days or at least within the same month. We do this under our own steam, and without any type of bailout. And it affects our credit rating.
Banks themselves, on the other hand, have themselves been guilty of offering the most aggressive and high risk business practices with MY MONEY, that have resulted in catastrophic economic failure and massive job losses and industry collapse, and are only still able to open the doors in the morning because governments have bailed them out, again with MY MONEY.
And yet I have a tarnished credit score because MY MONEY paid a bill on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday. I’m not sure where these businesses get off, but we’re a long way away from any kind of recovery when we’re still the suspects, yet banks themselves were, in fact, the economic terrorists.
Ironically, I’d get my calls returned sooner I’m sure if I deposited €120 million, or conversely if I owed €120 million, but I’m too small a customer to be worthy of the service support of my local bank.