I know I sometimes tend to have the occasional rant. But banks really do it for me. Over the past year, many of the British ones have been, so called, 'refreshing' their brands.
The latest to do this is Nat West. Call me cynical but I can't be alone in thinking that all this is just a strategy to divert us from the fact that they have all been abusing their customers for years. Most are downright criminals, but will never see the inside of a prison. Suddenly we are all expected to believe their new slogans like "We are here for you", they now want to be our best friends. Barclays refer to themselves as 'Your Bank'.
Lloyds say " Because your family matters", RBS, "The bank that earns you trust". And back to Nat West, they are saying "We'll help you along the way" and "We know a helping hand is always nice". Just wait until there is an economic downturn. Where will your new friends be then?
How can the people that write this stuff look themselves in the mirror? It is unbelievable.
The new (not really) Nat West logo has three interlocking cubes. How original.
Hang on a mo, I walked around my neighbourhood in Clerkenwell yesterday and noticed this in a tile shop window. Pretty naff yes, and they are also using multi-coloured boxes.
And then there's the blocky multi coloured typeface.
Apparently, the idea is “... a gentle evolution of the brand rather than a reinvention.” With no doubt, a great deal of money behind the project, a little more research wouldn't have gone amiss.
And to support this Nat West rebrand they have produced the above commercial, get the box of tissues ready, here it is.
Not so long ago we had Barclays feeding us with Loachian-style commercials centring on the loyalty of good old British football supporters in a variety of scenarios showing ordinary people cheering on Barclays-sponsored teams. “Thank you – you are football,” says Barclays as 86-year-old Everton supporter Billy Ingham sets off to see his beloved team play. Utter sentimentality to pull at the heart strings to make you feel all warm and cuddly about Barclays.
Meanwhile, behind the scene, banks have been cutting tens of 1000's of staff and closing 100's of local branches, all due to the crisis created by their criminal activity of miss-selling of protection insurance and all the other scams and schemes going back decades.
But of course, the banking top dogs (and they are always mostly dogs) continually increase their annual salaries and perks to engorge their already obscene amounts. And even if they are occasionally fired, they walk away with a mini lottery win in their pockets due to their watertight contracts concocted by top lawyers and accountants.
Hearing Teresa May on Wednesday telling us she is going to clamp down on this kind of greed is just pure waffle. We all know that absolutely nothing will happen. Yet more vacuous PR for a few sound bites in the media.
Now that the banks can no longer rob us under the radar, they are going to do it directly. Those of you with bank business accounts will soon receive letters informing you that you will have to pay for having your money in the bank. So not only will you receive no interest on your deposits, but you will now find yourself having to pay for every transaction and many other services that were historically free.
Well, they need to pay for all this brand refreshing and topping up the top dog bonuses. But actually we, the gullible customer, will be paying for all that. What suckers we all are.
The greed and deception are so well ingrained in the banking fraternity that it is still filtering through and there are many more skeletons in the safe.
And they say we should stop bashing the bankers. I say get out the baseball bats. They are shameless. One also has to question the morality of our creative community in colluding in this kind of cynical subterfuge. Not a single bank has run a press campaign to say SORRY.
Meanwhile, across the pond, there is a fearless woman (my current heroine) Elizabeth Warren (above) who is taking the US bank robbers to task at the Banking committee Hearings. Just watch her dismantle the CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, she is truly amazing.