Banks are spoilt brats

By Victor Angula |

Some years ago I learned (in a book I read) that commercial banks are financial institutions which will lend you money when you don’t need it. The moment you prove that you don’t need their money, that is when they will give it to you.

And they give it to you in expectation of you giving it back to them with interest.

In recent times something I read somewhere someone said that in actual fact a bank is like someone who gives you an umbrella when the weather is good but he asks the umbrella back immediately when it starts raining.

Indeed that is the characteristic of a capitalist.

But banks are special capitalists. Banks are like spoilt brats. They are capitalists but they are protected by the government. The most famous instrument used in protecting commercial banks is the instrument known as “the repo rate”.

(Popular belief is that repo rates are meant to protect an economy. But nobody can tell you how.)

But there are many other instruments and tools used by governments all over the world to protect banks. You can better say that ordinary people, poor people, taxpayers are used to protect the interests of bankers.

It would not come across as such a serious issue if the banks are locally-owned (owned by local entrepreneurs). But if the banks, like in our case, are foreign-owned: Standard Bank, Nedbank, FNB, and even Bank Windhoek (the so-called Namibian bank), this is really a serious thing.

Every capitalist, especially a foreign one, must be on their own and not be protected by the people, the same people they are exploiting.

Well, banks are institutions which are so much embedded in the system that no one can bring them to order. This is why I say they are like spoilt brats.

But what I want to say is that you should never consider your bank to be your friend. Spoilt brats never have friends; everyone is attracted and entranced by them because they own the system, but it’s just transactional friendship.

(I will be writing a series of articles on banks, just for consumer education purposes.)

– Victor Angula is the editor of Omutumwa News Online. He can be reached at