If it wasn't shocking enough how Provident took a successful business model and threw it out for the sake of "being modern" , the Barclays debacle is all the more jaw-dropping because they heralded a change without actually informing customers exactly what it would entail.
I was one of the hapless investors who are stuck in limbo as I wait to have my and my wife's ISAs transferred elsewhere. With hindsight one can see why they didn't actually explain in detail what would be taken away. Did they think we were stupid ? Possibly . Did they reckon on inertia keeping us ont he platform . Most likely !
At first I thought it was me being a wee bit too pedantic but after their "helpless centre" in timbuktoo could not answer ym queries I followed my gut and jumped ship immediately. When I read in the weekend FT that thousands were in the same boat I breathed a sigh of relief only to realise when I inhaled once more that the sheer numbers mean that it's gonna be some time until they sort out the paperwork acorss the board. Humbug !
So what's the lesson for humble accountants ? If it ain't broke don't fix it and also don't forget that your clients are your source of livliehood and they are not stupid . The only question left now is whether to short Barclays shares , but given that the bank should be renamed Barclays Teflon - 'cos they seem to trundle on through every crisis and emerge unscathed if perhaps a wee bit bruised , I wouldn't risk it.
By the way - I am not authorised nor regulated for the dispensing of investment advice so after reading this article please ignore any hint of advisory : -)
About Norman Younger
Accountancy practice broker , Commercial mediator & negotiator, Boutique business broker & corporate financier. 25+ years professional experience, charity trustee and community worker with a broad (but not-always "PC") view of the country's financial, business, political and social problems. Tel: 0800 2800 321. Follow my personal Google+ page