Customers of UK High Street Banks are increasingly reporting their unease about the recent trend for banks to demonstrate excessive goodwill and courtesy towards customers.
'I only dropped into Nat West to use the cashpoint,' said one customer. 'One of the staff opened the door for me, said a cheery "good morning" and asked if there was anything he could do to help me. It was creepy. My husband had the same unnerving experience in HSBC.'
'In the past few years, banks have gained a very poor reputation in the eyes of the public due to greed and a cavalier disregard for the interests of customers,' explained a spokesman for the banking industry. 'Banks are therefore ordering staff at local branches to go over the top in feigning courtesy and pretending that they care about those mindless cash-cows whose money we want and who we wish to trap into debt.'
'I much preferred the old days,' reminisced another customer. 'OK, bank staff were rude and surly and not in the least bit interested in helping you - they even shut down my brother's perfectly viable business just to make more money for themselves. At least that attitude of selfishness and indifference was honest, though. I think it's disgusting that they are now trying to give the impression they give a damn.'
One bank, The National Dodgydeal Bank, has heeded customer concerns and has not instigated a charm offensive. 'We make it quite clear to customers,' explained the bank's CEO, Ava Reece, 'that we offer poor value in financial products and that our sole aim is to make money to pay inflated salaries and bonuses to our executives. Customers seem to respond positively to this candid, no frills approach.'
'At first it was a bit scary trying to get a loan from the National Dodgydeal,' admitted one of its customers. 'The advisors who discuss loans dress like bandits or gangsters, and they can be very nasty during the interrogation. While they were beating me up, however, I felt that we had a really honest rapport. There was no attempt of any kind to use devious psychological strategies to try to make me forget the realities of banking that we all learned after the crash in 2008.'
'We admit to being disappointed about this sceptical attitude among bank customers,' said the spokesman for the banking industry. 'The current charm campaign, in branches and in TV advertisements, was very carefully thought thorough with the help and advice of some of the most socially convincing psychopaths in Broadmoor. It may be,' he concluded, 'that the general public are not as stupid as we have always assumed.'