Banking on a pension

Put yourself in Sir Fred Goodwin's shoes.

There he is, looking forward to retirement. Spending his free time going to the park, playing bowls or learning to skateboard, and now the poor soul is being forced to contemplate his dotage without a £30 million pension. What’s a man to do?

Go abroad and keep a low profile, according to the latest reports about the ex-Royal Bank of Scotland chief exec. Maybe he can go and console himself on Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s millionaire’s paradise where there’s likely to be a number of banking refugees bemoaning unpaid bonuses and political doublespeak.

The situation is unquestionably farcical and ought not to have reached this stage: people should never be rewarded for failure. Especially so in the current circumstances. Banks, while all claiming to be open for business, aren’t quite so keen to “do business”, as our latest poll shows.

Smallbusiness.co.uk asked: ‘How supportive is your bank?’ Not very is the answer. A little under 300 of you replied. Over two-thirds of you are not at all pleased with our once venerable fiscal guardians.

Forty-three per cent said their bank has shown no understanding whatsoever, while 28 per cent maintain the right noises have been made but no meaningful actions are being taken. A total of ten per cent said their overdraft has been cancelled.

It’s a sorry state of affairs. However, the next wave of individuals looking to start a business remain undeterred. A survey by loyalty scheme specialist Nectar found that nearly two-fifths of respondents under 34 were looking to set up their own business, with online ventures and, by stark contrast, tea and coffee shops being the order of the day.

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