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Why UK Banks Don't Tweet 106

Posted by timothy
from the gentlemen-don't-read-one-another's-tweets dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Banks in Great Britain are running scared of using social media services like Facebook and Twitter — owing to case law that dates from 1924." That case law "means financial services companies can't publicly identify an individual who has an account with them," so responding to customer inquiries in other than the traditional ways (like post and in-person) could get banks in trouble.
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Why UK Banks Don't Tweet

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  • by fivevoltforest (2012744) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @03:02AM (#35548204)
    I can't believe that this is what the world has come to. "What time does the bank close?" "I don't know, you should tweet them to find out!" (http://www.banktwitter.com/banks/Bank-of-America)
  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @03:07AM (#35548222)
    Here I was hoping the reason would be "Because it's fucking retarded, and the executives of UK banks have brains." Oh well.
  • Yay Slashdot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 20, 2011 @03:23AM (#35548278)

    Why do I click on my bookmark for Slashdot anymore? What is it up to now, 50% stupid? I know the origination is the article...but come on guys, lets cover intelligent ones vs. nonsense.

  • thankfully not! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ushere (1015833) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @03:24AM (#35548282)
    i really don't need my bank, and especially its staff wasting time 'socialising' - that time could be better spent either improving their service or paying additional bonuses to their ceo's....
  • Re:Wait, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davester666 (731373) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @03:38AM (#35548312) Journal

    thus ensuring the mass publication of your personal information isn't intercepted by anybody between the bank and Twitter?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 20, 2011 @03:45AM (#35548330)

    Idiocracy was not supposed to be a manual.
    If they want instant messaging it should be done on their website and nowhere else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 20, 2011 @04:30AM (#35548468)

    If they have any sense the UK bankers are not tweeting so we are not reminded about their thieving asses. If the UK public remember the bankers exist and remember how they bankrupted the public purse for private gain, the UK populace just might start acting like the Libyan populace and rebelling. Who here wouldn't cheer the lynching of the bankers?

    The UK has a lot of anger, a lot of lamp-posts and plenty of rope. I wouldnt be at all suprised if the security types at the big banks advice is: Keep a low profile if you want to keep spending that stolen bonus on anything other than bodyguards.

  • Re:Sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @04:49AM (#35548530)

    Agreed. How about just answering the phone when I call in for help?

    I have had great experiences with support persons at my bank. They answer the phone reasonably swiftly and are very polite when we talk and they always seem to do as much as they can to truly help me instead of just get me off the phone. Put more effort into that and less into playing with the latest darling technology of the hipsteratti.

  • by Cimexus (1355033) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @05:11AM (#35548600)

    It's nice being able to get customer-service answers from all the companies I deal with in a single place. And also to follow all those companies so that you can get all news that might be relevant to you, from any company, in one place. That's basically how I use Twitter: like some kind of glorified RSS feed that has the added advantage of being two-way when required. Noone really follows me (since I don't tweet), but I follow plenty of news sites/companies/etc.

    For simple queries where you need a quick response (like 'what time do you close'), its generally much quicker than calling them and being on hold for an hour, or emailing them and getting the usual '5-7 business days' response. IM on the website would work for that too but the advantage of something like Twitter is that you have clients for all kinds of devices (whereas some piece of code on a website to implement IM may or may not work on some browsers, phones, etc.).

    Also, it's not like having a Twitter account automatically means every other avenue of communication doesn't exist anymore, ya know? Feel free to use other methods if you prefer. Adding an option harms nobody.

  • by Joe Jay Bee (1151309) <jbsouthsea@noSpAm.gmail.com> on Sunday March 20, 2011 @06:34AM (#35548872)

    You do realise that when the banks are sold again by UKFI, the Treasury (and by extension the "public purse") stands to make a huge profit by the simple act of buying the shares low and selling them high, right?

    You also do realise that most banks are private institutions who have received no government support (and so can spend their "stolen" bonus money however they damn well like it), don't you? And that at the end of the day their money has been legitimately earned through perfectly legal business activities? You think they charge too much - fine, but they have every right to do so.

    The "bankers" didn't "bankrupt the public purse". That's a facile (and depressingly common) point of view, and one that happens to be almost entirely incorrect.

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