Has the UK gone doolally?

Been trying to set up an online fx account (I already have 2 but always best to make comparisons to ensure best rates possible).
I can’t believe the hoops I have so far had to jump through.
Yes, I fully understand the ramifications of anti money laundering regulation but please…
I was asked to send electronically a facsimile of my UK passport which I duly did - result? not acceptable because the Maire signed it off as a true copy more than 3 months ago. Resolved: I sent another copy of the same passport which was scanned at the same time but without the declaration by the Maire and it was deemed acceptable! Daft, or what?
Then came the current utility bill within the last 3 months. I sent a copy of my most recent EDF bill raised only about a week ago. Acceptable? No! Reason: it is a bill transmitted over the internet - they need one sent by post!
I did actually say to the fx company that in france, we are a millennium ahead of the UK in that utility bills are more often than not transmitted by internet to save on costs - the bills are the same in format, just transmitted electronically but it was water off a duck’s back. “ah!” he said, "I am only following the rules of the FCA who control our activities."
Beggars belief. No wonder the UK is a dead duck…

I don’t have a single bill sent by post, why would you now that there is a more convenient way? So I would never be able to open an account with that company. Whose greater loss is that I wonder?

I don’t know if it’s me but I can remember when people would/could use their own judgement and it wasn’t long ago. I recall it as being in 1996. Then the UK elected (for our sins) the Blair Government (yes both of them, Mr & Mrs Prime Minister) and we ended up with a culture that encourages a lack of responsibility - as long as you ticked all the boxes you couldn’t be held responsible.
The UK is going to go down a spiral of having a workforce who are too scared to be responsible as surely as water spirals down a plug-hole.

I’ve seen the same culture of CYA and mediocrity in companies where there have been redundancies - everyone becomes too scared to stand up and be counted. Everyone’s hiding from decisions and responsibilities behind process, forms, paperwork etc. because they’re too scared of a mistake and being singled out. The problem is that everyone stops adding value, stops doing anything that is real production. Eventually it all stagnates in a mess of internal paper shuffling instead of servicing customers and creating revenue to pay for the paper-shuffling. The end is an inevitable redundancy as the organisation (be it corporate or country) goes down the tubes.

So yes Graham, the country has been going doolally for approximately the last twenty years.


But it doesn’t take long to get used to the jobsworth approach and regard it as the norm. Then we move to France and find it ridiculous that fonctionnaires do have some discretion to use their judgement, and sometimes one will accept something that another one won’t.

A lot of these hoops are caused by American banking regulations.
Barbara Deane had a thread recently about this.

You think the UK is a dead duck? I don’t see much entrepreneurship in the Béarn where I live. It’s a world of missed opportunity. Bars close in August, restaurants won’t serve after 13:30, new enterprises don’t advertise. I love it here but I think the UK is way ahead on economic culture.

Explain why France is so much more efficient then.

For starters, France’s growth figures for the first quarter were twice as good as ours. It’s true they do have signficantly higher unemployment, but they also have extremely high productivity. In fact, as The Economist recently noted, “The French could take Friday off and still produce more than Britons do in a week.” This is not something you hear very often from our chancellor. They also have a rather better balanced economy and a considerably lower Gini Coefficient, the preferred measure of inequality. While we’re at it, they beat us on GDP per capita, earn roughly the same and have a lower cost of living.

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and a better health service to boot!

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Certainly better at getting their billing done as well.

So if France is so much better an economy, does that explain the answer to my other post about rip-off pricing?

Its a free market…

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It’s a free country… no-one has to pay anything they do not want to pay. There is always an alternative product available… and folk choose what they want, at a price they are prepared to pay. :thinking::roll_eyes::relaxed:


I’m not even sure what it is Mike is trying to postulate…