Explaining Bank Charges To Grandma

The Court ruled in favour of the banks

The Court ruled in favour of the banks

On my way back from GMTV this morning, I called my wonderful 87 year old Grandma, as I normally do when I’ve a spare minute in the day. Sadly she struggles a bit with some concepts these days – though her protective instincts are as strong as ever – I thought the conversation may make you smile.

(Thankfully she doesn’t use the internet or she’d be furious that I’d published her age. She of course only looks 27.)

Grandma: “Oh Martin, I’ve been very worried about you – I saw you on the TV a lot yesterday, you were in Court. That’s not good and it didn’t go well! Are you OK? You’re not in trouble are you?”

Me: “It wasn’t a good day, we lost the bank charges case, the thing I’ve been campaigning about, but I’m OK there’s nothing to worry about. I’m not in trouble.”

Grandma: “Oh yes, the banks, I’ve always worried about that. Are you sure you’re safe? It’s not good to argue with the banks.”

Me: “I’m fine, we lost yesterday, but remember at the start of this we got them to pay a billion pounds, that’s a thousand million pounds, back to people – and I don’t think it’s totally over yet.” (see the Bank Charges Q&A for the current score)

Grandma: “I didn’t think there was that much money in the world. Who got that money?”

Me: “There is, and the money went to lots of people, and we wanted them to pay back a lot more.”

Grandma: “Please be careful Martin, I hope you’ve got people on your side.”

Me: “It’s more the other way round Grandma, my job is sort of trying to help other people get their money back.”

Grandma: “Who took their money?”

Me: “The banks.”

Grandma: “Why did they do that?”

Me: “Well I think they unfairly took too much money from people’s accounts when they were struggling – and made it really difficult for them.”

Grandma: “That’s not very nice.”

Sums it up really well doesn’t it? I wonder how many people like my Grandma, who don’t understand bank charges, have had money taken from them?

But the silver lining here is she was pleased that there were pictures of me in the paper, and my uncle will get her a copy of the Mirror which is the one with the biggest pic.

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