IT is now nearly five years since the banking crisis almost brought the west to its knees but banks continue to  cash-in on their clients and bank charges remain outrageous. The other day I withdrew  40 euros from a cash machine in Palma from a bank which is not my own. I was charged 3.50 euros.  This is scandalous. I have to pay an enormous penalty simply because I used a cash machine which belonged to a bank where I do not have an account. No wonder banks make such large sums of money. Surely, the government should pass legislation which states that all banks should charge a nominal flat rate fee for the use of their cash machines. Can you imagine if petrol stations started charging you more for your fuel simply because you have a loyalty card from a rival company or super-markets ask you to pay more for your food because you usually shop at a different competing store! If European governments want to end the recession fast then they should tackle the b anks head-on. Charges need to be capped, lending must be restored to small businesses  and the banks should be made accountable to the government and their clients.  The banking crisis nearly brought many countries to their knees. It should not be allowed to happen again. Iwould like to see a return to old style banking when you knew that your money was safe and that you would not be charged for everything. Wishful thinking on my part, I’m afraid!

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