When is a contract not a contract?

Best answer seems to be, ‘when it is with a bank and favours the customer’.

Around 230,000 small business customers in the UK will be affected by Santander’s U-turn relating to accounts originally advertised as ‘free forever’. Small business customers are being told their accounts will now cost between £7.50 and £40 a month, with extra charges levied for paying in more than a set amount of cash.

Santander says that it is no longer viable to keep the accounts free, arguing that it will provide a better service and more interest for the extra £20.7 million the charge will bring in annually. There will be more business managers to talk to in local Santander branches and it will offer a higher rate of interest of 0.25 per cent on balances held in the business current accounts.

Many of the affected accounts were inherited by Santander and it comes at a time when Lord Turner, chairman of the FSA, has stated that personal banking customers should be paying for their current accounts as standard, claiming that those in credit are harming competition among high street banks and leading to mis-selling.

For some it is not the cost of banking that is important in this case, as it is relatively low, but the principle involved.

So, it is basically a question of pay the bank to take your money, gamble with it and pay themselves huge bonuses, and pay again when they run out of funds…so they can start the cycle anew.

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