So, if you’re a frequent reader of the DINKs you know that I’m a bad news monger. For the past year and a half, I’ve been gleefully commenting on the decline of the dollar, slamming greedy mutual fund managers and denouncing the excesses of the credit card industry.
Well for a switch, I wanted to point out some good news for all of you. Reuters is reporting that the internet has had a substantial impact on the way in which financial services price products and relate to customers. Evidently, the use of social marketing tools such as Facebook and Bebo in the UK has allowed consumers to create a “flock mentality” which has forced big banks to scale back on overpriced products like debt insurance and credit card charges. This “flock mentality” has also forced banks to be less paternalistic towards their customers.
In short, the ability of the net to facilitate mass communication is making information more readily available, thus forcing English banks to drive down prices and improve service. While I don’t have the evidence in front of me, I bet you a similar processes is happening in the US.
For my part, this is wonderful news. The greatest benefit of economic well being is empowerment. Anything that facilitates this process is just fine with me.
The full Reuters story is here.