"Bad Banks: Greed, Incompetence and the Next Global Crisis" is well-written, well-argued and well-timed.
Daily Mail City editor Alex Brummer pulls no punches as to how the UK's banks have failed and continue to fail us all in abysmal fashion. Here, he sums up Barclays Bank's recent conduct: "This, then, is the reality, a bank that gives all the appearances of being run in the interests of its top executives and ruthless traders rather than its customers or the shareholders who ultimately own it.
"In that sense, it epitomises the culture of 'bad banks' that brought the global economy to the brink of collapse some seven years ago."
Brummer doesn't stop with the banks. He goes on to cast doubt on the probity of the market mechanism itself, citing penumbras of doubt and uncertainty in what is supposed to be a transparent process. He call these areas "dark pools" that "allow the market to be rigged in favour of big banks, shattering the fundamental principle that everyone, from the largest fund manager to the humble retiree cashing in their pension, has exactly the same access to a 'best price' quoted on an open market."
Strong stuff indeed. Management Today reviews the book, and adds its own commentary on UK banks in general: "It is no secret that most British consumers no longer trust their banks. The banks say that 'lessons have been learned', but it is perhaps consumers who have learned the most painful lessons through being loyal customers and getting very little in return."
This review makes the important point that while the banks are to be contemned for their behaviour, there is an alternative: "It is worth noting that many banks at the time believed the growth and popularity of peer-to-peer finance models (crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, invoice discounting) was a short-term trend that would fade away as credit markets were freed up and the economy recovered.
However, although the US and UK economies are growing again, many consumers remain wary of mainstream banks."
The alternative is indeed peer-to-peer (P2P) financing, and Money&Co., while a young company, is at the heart of that movement. We bring businesses and people together in a transparent and efficient way, and we are proud to do so.
*** We currently have an A-rated £850,000 loan offering, with a gross indicative yield of 7 per cent. Find out more here.
*** And don't forget to register your vote in the Alternative Finance People's Choice awards. Please support us, and crowdfunding in general. The other option is giving your money to the banks...