It’s grim on the High Street too.
In May this year, I approached bankers to set-up a trustee account. We had secured a large sum of money for a client and created a special needs trust to legitimately preserve his means-tested benefits.
My co-trustee and I told the bank what we wanted and they gave us a form. We filled it in and we made an appointment as required to present the form and for my co-trustee to deliver his identification documents.
The manager could do no more than to explain that it was the wrong form and how many times she was going to kick her colleague’s backside.
To cut a long story short, we were given the correct form which was then completed and delivered. My assistant telephoned and visited the branch many times in the coming weeks to find out when we would receive confirmation of the new account, cheque book etc.
After various reassurances that it was being chased up, we have been told that the forms cannot be located. They had been lost somewhere on the way to or from the processing department, wherever that is.
The branch explains that they did not photocopy the original form before despatch because they do not have the resources.
The former chief executive’s daily pension of nearly £2,000 would buy at least half a dozen adequate photocopiers.
Subsequently I have approached a different bank to see what they can do. They are being helpful.
But the answer to my question who is best able to deal at local level is that it depends on what day we want to go and see them.
As I have explained, the greater value is in having somebody who knows what they are doing, even if they are only available one day a week. I will arrange everything else accordingly.
It’s of no value to me at all to pick my day and then have the cleaner deal with it because nobody else is available.
Not sure yet whether that’s what’s bound to happen anyway...