Thursday, 6 March 2014


Like most people across the country I received mail today, all business letters, 2nd class, at 50p a time. But I had a few things to do first and left them to open later in the day.

Spread out across the city, and on a chilly day, I set out on my bicycle to fulfil all my chores, thereby saving me money, not polluting the environment and getting good exercise.

Satisfied at a job well done, I returned home just as the first signs of light rain started. It was time for the last chore of the day, to open the various bits of mail, three of which, I noticed, were from the Royal Bank of Scotland, or RBS as they like to call themselves these days. This is who I bank with personally and for business. Two business accounts actually, one of which I've had with them since 1991, so they know me pretty well, through all the ups and downs of two recessions, when we all had to find cost cutting measures.

It's been a rough time recently for RBS too, just reporting an £8billion loss for 2013.  Over the last six years the UK taxpayer has become the largest shareholder of this bank at a whopping 81%. Turns out that it has now lost the £46billion we invested with it, and yet still finds some spare change, £576million to be precise, to pay out in bonuses!  Bonuses for what? Managing to keep a sinking ship from having its plug pulled once and for all maybe!

Well, I know a way they could save some money.

The first, and fattest, letter I opened was information on how to apply for an RBS business credit card.

I already have one.

The next letter from the RBS was details about transferring balances from an existing personal credit card when I take out an RBS personal credit card.

I already have one.

The final letter was about first time buyer mortgages.

At 50 years old, and on my third property, I hardly think this is relevant to me. Oh, and you guessed it, I already have an RBS mortgage!

So there's £1.50, in one day, in one week, in postage.  Let's say for arguments sake they do this once a month, to 5million customers. That's £90million a year.

But the RBS have their own ways of saving money: they're axing 30,000 jobs over the next few years.

I understand a businesses need to market themselves for new business, but in this day and age it can't be difficult to figure out who already has products and services so you don't waste money mailing them, not just on postage but on valuable commodities as well.

I used to run a medium sized retail business employing nine staff. If I had run my business affairs in such a wasteful, and what seems careless, manner as this I'm fairly certain the RBS would have recalled their loans and closed me down.

I did think of sending a well worded letter to Ross McEwan the chief executive, but I have better things to spend 50p on.

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