There was another telling line in the Wall Street Journal story today on the Feds lawsuit against BONY Mellon for its alleged fraud in foreign exchange trading:
“The U.S. attorney complaint cites a 2004 BNY Mellon email in which an executive said the bank needed to protect the way it carried out the currency trades. ‘This is currently our revenue and it should remain so; we all understand how the bonus pool funds,’ the executive wrote.” (Read here)
Yes, the point about “bonus pool funds” is key and I commented on that in another post, but the other telling line is the very common attitude reflected in this statement: “This is currently OUR revenue and it should remain so.”
Big banks are the only industry that believes that it’s customers/clients’ money is really their money and their mission is to move that money from your pocket to their pocket (via the bonus pool).
Think about that. What other industry has that attitude. Yes, companies that actually sell products do that, but you decide to buy the product AND you get something for the money you pay to those companies. Big banks are different. This isn’t just one quote from one executive. Bank of America just instituted all sorts of fees to “make up for revenue it lost” elsewhere. JP Morgan Chase said the same thing when the law was changed to prohibit them from overcharging for credit card transactions.
It is as if the big banks believe they are entitled to a certain amount of money from every customer and they are going to get it one way or the other.
Why doesn’t it ever occur to them to provide a service or product that people actually understand and want and are willing to pay for? Now that would be a change for the big banks, but that would require a dramatic re-orientation.