Martina Devlin: We must protect citizens from our ruthless banks
Published 01/12/2011 | 05:00
Fancy a career in banking? There are still some promotion opportunities -- although you do realise 'banking' is now a euphemism and that a banker's function is to act as a debt collector.
This struck me forcibly on a plane journey between Liverpool and Dublin a few days ago when I sat beside two bankers. There was a lot of talk about their duty to shareholders and how personal feelings mustn't colour commercial decisions, which translated as: "We have to do things we really aren't comfortable with -- but better that than unemployment and mortgage arrears for ourselves."
Banks are doing virtually no lending. Staff's focus is money retrieval. Banking always had a debt-collection element, but today it is the primary role.