Little Green Goblins

I work with two banks – Banca Popolare di Milano and Intesa San Paolo; for some reason it has been the same banks for over thirty years. And in more relatively recent times, I also started working with french Société Marseillaise de Crédit.

I now think I have understood the fundamental nature of banking – them Little Green Goblins stash away the gold they collect from us, the Depositors, in their underground vaults. They do not like gold exiting, whatever the reason, and since in these thirty years I have wrestled money from them on several occasions (and always repaid it, of course!), they hate me.paperone

The best way to expose their hatred is by denying a loan, because they do not share the layman’ view of money being a means to an end (the renovation of a house, the purchase of a car): for them, money is an end in itself and its accumulation and contemplation the noblest of endeavors. But, sadly, loans (or, rather, their interest returns) are vital for banks, so they reluctantly must say yes to a few, including mine.

In the old days, the clerks were trained to support this view of the world: all smiley when you deposited, frowning when you pulled money from your account; in my case, it would have been all frowns and no smiles, since the inflows were represented by my salary which got wired, but about the time I started to hold my own bank account,  IT made the single most important contribution to humankind’ well-being with the invention of the ATM. This trend has continued to the point today I hardly visit bank branches at all. I go about doing my own business for months without a single frown.

This  must have royally worried the Grand Green Goblin: realizing he was losing the frown-vice on the Depositors, he called upon his IT LGGs and asked them to make every single application Depositors would use as viciously unfriendly and obscure as they could. Abandoned transactions for the LGGs are a measure of success, not failure.

Let me quote two examples:


BPM also issued credit cards to me and my wife. They bear the same logo as the bank and the bank sells them as if they were theirs, but they’re not. In fact my home banking to this date does not know they were ever issued. There is a separate portal for this and this separate portal uses different access credentials. For reasons known only to the LGGs, these credentials expire when they’re not used and of course, use of the home banking DOES NOT count as usage, as it’s a separate website.

In other words,  I need to log in the actual credit card website to avoid suspension: that is use it even if I don’t need to, so that I can use when I need to. I’d like to charge them for this waste of time, at my standard professional rate.

and, not to be accused of italian-bashing:


I have been “sold” to SMC when Crédit du Nord sold a bunch of branches in southern France to this Marseille-based bank a few years ago. I do not remember ever being asked whether I wanted to continue with SMC, but to be honest, maybe they did and I assented with my lack of action.

Anyway, they send me this DEM promoting their iOS app – it looks slick and I find apps useful to use when I am on the road, so I download it and install it, but when I click on “Vos comptes” (= your accounts) where I presumed you’d enter your credentials it responds “Would you like to connect to the bank’s website?”

The whole app is a pure advertising device promoting their products and does not allow an iota of banking operations. Thanks for nothing, assholes!

I can see the programmer LGG, mischievously laughing as they think of this evil scheme.


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