Don’t wait for the verdict on banks, energy companies and supermarkets. Treat them as guilty if you want to look after your money.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today announced it will carry out a ‘full competition inquiry’ into current account and small business banking markets. In its cross hairs are ‘the big 4′ – Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC, who together control around 75% of the current account market.
It has widened the scope of its inquiry into banking first announced in July.
Only last week the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced an investigation into Tesco (you know, the supermarket that had five company jets – last time someone counted ’em – and that overstated profits to the tune of £263 million). The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) already had the food chain on its radar.
And only a few months ago the energy watchdog, Ofgem, announced a major investigation of ‘the big 6’ energy suppliers, also to be conducted by the CMA, looking at the profits they make.
- Light and warmth
Well done big business, you’ve scored a hat trick!
Let’s face it, if you’re just an ordinary person trying to balance your budget you’re scewed by the big boys (and girls). Heck, you don’t even have to take our word for it any more. If the SFO, Ofgem, CMO and FCA think these blighters deserve official scrutiny, we say there’s no smoke without fire. And that many acronyms can’t be wrong.
But we also say that if you want to look after your cash you need to always treat these organsiations (and others like them) as if they were guilty. Why? You don’t trust people who have been found guilty of things. Even if you have to get on with them in some way you question everything they say and take each word with a hefty dose of salt.
Banks, supermarkets and energy companies don’t deserve our trust. At Money Fight Club we don’t believe they ever have.
The fact is that until massive, life-critical brands like these are seriously taken to task at a consumer, regulatory and political level, they will never change. (Forget that EU bill Mr.Cameron – proportionally it’s chicken feed compared to the amount of money ordinary people are paying out of their incomes in bills and to companies that treat us with contempt.)
- keep an eye on your bank account and what services and products are offered to you under the guise of help
- check ever darned bill and multi buy in the weekly shop
- get out those energy bills out and find your pocket calculator.
- Question everything.
- Make yourself a nuisance.
- Move your business to the companies that have the better reputations as well as the keener prices.
But all means give businesses your business. Just don’t give them your trust.
How to find out more
Official details on Competition and Markets Authority cases covering retail and SME banking
Serious Fraud Office – the world’s shortest press release about the Tesco investigation
Ofgem refers energy suppliers for investigation