July and August are when we all go on holiday, and sometimes we miss stuff. The above quietly enacted change took place on July 3rd last. I have to say, it passed me by; and it seems to have passed everyone else I know by as well. But even the BBC reported it. However, one Slogger just got the above statement-stuffer from NatWest. It amounts to an almost exact 10% cut in the insured sum offered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The rationale – you’ll love this – is ‘the amount will be reduced to £75,000, as a result of the strength of the pound’. They really do think we’re asleep, and sadly they’re right:
- Sterling has strengthened against the euro. It has weakened against the Dollar.
- The overwhelming majority of UK savers spend at most two weeks a year in the eurozone.
- Zirp has already slashed their income in savings. This is nothing more than a hidden rate cut.
- It’s the sort of action a sly Chancellor takes when he sees trouble ahead…not when he sees plain sailing into a gentle sunset.
Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie – who should know what he’s talking about, he being the Tory chairman of the Treasury Select Committee an’ all, said:
“It is absurd that the 16% depreciation of the euro largely brought about by the crisis in the eurozone in general, and the Greek crisis in particular, should be forcing a reduction in the level of protection available to UK depositors”
Being a Tory, Mr Tyrie daren’t be any ruder than that. But I can. What we’re seeing here is the thin end of the wedge being applied up the already hard-pressed bank customer’s unwilling sphincter. The changed exchange rate with one holiday currency is a risible excuse, simple as that.
But if you disagree with me, then I will offer you a bet, honouring all takers. I’ll give you 4-1 that if Sterling collapses against the euro, the FSCS ceiling will not be raised by an equivalent amount by our charming Chancellor.
For me, however, the point here is not that George Gideon Oswald Osborne is a sneaky little hooker-hag as mendacious as he is lascivious: we have, after all, known that for the best part of a decade. The point is that G-GOO is expecting the worst.
Why could that possibly be? Stay tuned for the next injection of Sloglobal markets reality later this morning.
Hat tips to KF, ArchieX and Maybut for much of today’s Slogdata capture