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No, not that bank.

By swamiOFswank - 26 March 2009 29

This afternoon right outside the front door of the Salvo’s store at Mitchell, a well-presented blonde woman representing Citibank was approaching customers entering and exiting the Salvo’s offering credit cards and debt consolidation together with the offer of a loan with 6.something% interest.

I realise I’m taking the moral high ground here, but honestly, how low can a bank or its representative stoop?  I thought it was a disgusting tactic to stand out the front of an op-shop enticing people who are possibly financially challenged, to consider more credit cards or a loan.  You could argue that it’s a free market, that the street is owned by nobody, or that she was actually promoting good financial management as a community service…

…but I’m far more cynical than that.

I just thought it was shameful.

/dobbing in a community disservice

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
No, not that bank.
VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:25 am 26 Mar 09

I believe Citibank are in the rather unique position of being both profitable AND insolvent.

jakez 11:18 am 26 Mar 09

GB I agree with you (except for your last resort). Boycotts and consumers using their market power are all part of the free market as well. The free market is merely the sum of unimpeded voluntary agreements and interactions.

peterh 11:14 am 26 Mar 09

aren’t citibank in strife now in the downturn? I wouldn’t be trying to turn away clientele when times are so bad.

GB 11:08 am 26 Mar 09

jakez said :

You could argue that it’s a free market, that the street is owned by nobody, …

We have aspects of a “free market” for finance shysters.

But the street is owned by us, not nobody.

The bank is morally wrong, and so we should act against it – by using our individual market power, force of public debate, and as a last resort our collective force through government action. Throwing things at the individual is probably about as useful and ethical as swearing at Indian call centre operatives.

“Its a free market” is never a good argument for inaction. You have to look at the results the market is producing, and decide whether you want to influence it.

At the moment, if this story is accurate, then this bank is bad; so no custom from me and mine.

Icepoet 10:46 am 26 Mar 09

“reminds me of an insurance company who has roving sales people that target specific demographics and sell based on the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) factor. Targeting people who are down and out, and sell the “life” insurance by telling the punter that they would leave their wife and kids with nothing if they didn’t sign up right away…”

Reminds me of a group of insurance/funeral plan companies who advertise mainly during Dr Phil and Oprah using ‘scaremongering’ tactics to convince people to buy their rip off plans.

Pommy bastard 10:25 am 26 Mar 09

I wonder how much commission this person was on? I wonder how they deal with the moral dimension of their actions?

deezagood 9:47 am 26 Mar 09

colourful sydney racing identity said :

It is a sad reflection on the industry that this doesn’t surprise me. My two year old nephew received a letter from a particular financial institution informing him that he had been pre-approved for a credit card with a $5000 limit based on a very small bank account his parents opened for him.

Helllooo Thomas the Tank Engine train set (complete with all trains)!

Primal 9:45 am 26 Mar 09

Stay classy, Citibank!

colourful sydney rac 9:33 am 26 Mar 09

It is a sad reflection on the industry that this doesn’t surprise me. My two year old nephew received a letter from a particular financial institution informing him that he had been pre-approved for a credit card with a $5000 limit based on a very small bank account his parents opened for him.

jakez 9:32 am 26 Mar 09

You could argue that it’s a free market, that the street is owned by nobody, or that she was actually promoting good financial management as a community service…

…but I’m far more cynical than that.

One can argue the first two points without believing that the bank is doing the right thing.

Debt consolidation loans aside, it seems in very poor taste and will be something I consider if I am ever looking to switch banks.

OzChick 9:28 am 26 Mar 09

Banks will do anything to meet their sales targets.

peterh 9:14 am 26 Mar 09

considering that several of the people entering the store would have been brought down by the banks at some stage of their lives, she was lucky that she wasn’t
a) being berated by several people
b) having nasty stuff thrown at her (monkeys fling similar)
c) getting beaten up

perhaps citibank thought she was doing the right thing in canvassing mitchell, but there are better places to try and drum up business. Poor form by her, and by her sales manager if they had an inkling of what she was doing.

reminds me of an insurance company who has roving sales people that target specific demographics and sell based on the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) factor. Targeting people who are down and out, and sell the “life” insurance by telling the punter that they would leave their wife and kids with nothing if they didn’t sign up right away…

PBO 8:58 am 26 Mar 09

Is that even legal? And what was the stance of the people operating the store? Surely they must have had some objections.

trevar 8:56 am 26 Mar 09

There is no limit to how low banks will stoop.

Personally, I think the word ‘banker’ should be tattooed across the foreheads of anyone willing to work for one, and they should be permanently ostracised from polite society.

deezagood 8:38 am 26 Mar 09

That is, indeed, poor form.

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