Saturday, January 9, 2010

Westpac stupidity a no. 1 news story in 2009

The story of the Nelson man Roger Griffiths and his protest at the way he way treated by Westpac (see our post of 24 July) was the biggest story of 2009 on news website

The more than 324,000 online hits surpassed the 266,000 for the main story on the Napier gun siege two months before. Even now Mr Griffiths is surprised at the enormity of the reaction. He was inundated with e-mails, phone calls and requests for media interviews, and it was a phone call from his brother, David, in New York that made him realise how far-reaching the story was. His brother asked, "What have you done? It's on CBS [American TV network]."

Mr Griffiths had calls from radio stations in Ireland, England, Germany, three from America and stations around New Zealand. "I think we all get used to bad news but this was something good," he said, and added that his hand literally ached from people shaking it in congratulations.

And in case you think Westpac stupidity is confined to its middle managers, this bank was adjudged to owe the IRD the most (a whopping $885 mil) in the Fay & Richwhite-style tax fraud that the Australian owned banks concocted between them. Stupid because Westpac has the business of most Government departments and agencies. If they decide they should put their business with a more appropriate bank, that's a fair chunk of NZ business to lose.

If your bank is causing you grief, then give them a blast. And don't think that being small you won't be taken notice of - try spending a night in a tent with a mosquito!

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