Anyone watching the Whistleblower programme on BBC1 last night would have been alarmed at the tactics used by staff in a major high street bank to win business at almost any cost.
Are we right to place our trust in our bank?
An undercover BBC reporter worked in both a bank call centre and high street branch for one of the largest banks in the UK, secretly filming her training and contact with customers. What she found was a frightening disregard of both consumer finance law and banking ethics and standards.
She was told to ignore customers stated preference for not receiving telephone sales calls and shown how to sell lucrative bank accounts, often without the customers knowing that their accounts had been upgraded and subjected to monthly charges.
Other staff and trainers explained how they ruthlessly enforced bank charges and even broke the law to achieve demanding sales targets.
As the programme showed, the bank set increasingly high sales targets on managers who then pressurised their staff to achieve them.
Rogue bank staff were shown to create bank accounts for fictitious people, steal from customers bank accounts, transferring customers money from one account to another to win commission and sell expensive insurance to people who clearly could not afford it.
And then the issue of unfair bank charges was raised.
By law, banks cannot make a profit with their bank charges, however an ex bank employee demonstrated how a charge for an overdraft would cost the bank £0.09, however the bank would charge the customer £35!
Don't forget that this was all occurring in one if the largest banks in the UK with millions of customers and a branch in most towns.
If it can happen in that bank, it can happen in your bank.
Do you trust your bank? I'm not sure I trust mine now.