Monday, October 31, 2005

Standard Chartered takes South Africa for a ride

I have been a 20twenty customer from the very beginning. At the time I was impressed with almost every facet of the bank. Great advertising, great concept, low charges and the very best customer service of any company in South Africa.

20twenty then unfortunately went through some trials resulting from it's relationship with Saambou. It was under curatorship until Standard Chartered, on of the worlds largest banks, decided to buy it. The loyal 20twenty customers were assured that everything would remain the same, except that we would have the financial backing that comes with Standard Chartered. Unfortunately that proved to be a lie.

After a period of increasing fees and degraded service (The fees were still however better than all the other banks and the service was still better than theirs) Standard Chartered has finally decided to discontinue 20twenty altogether in favour of more profitable options such as homeloans and personal loans.

So thank you Standard Chartered for becoming a truly South African company and deciding to squeeze every last cent out of your customers and killing one of the greatest companies that South Africa has seen in recent times.

To my readers, never take any sort of loan from Standard Chartered. They do not care about you at all, only how much money they can make from you


Anonymous Stephen M said...

Not to spam your site or anything, but in the absence of the 20twenty C&C forum, customers are gathering at - the chat box on the front page has been alive since the email was sent out. It may be the customer's best source of information for the next while...

11:40 AM  
Blogger Joel Basson (JStrike) said...

Thanks for the info stephen.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous A loyal 20Twenty/SCB customer said...

JStrike, Let me be frank here... You're feeling let down, which I am sure you are entitled to feel. However, with regards to fees, they lowered the fees from R100 to R80, and added that ATM charges would be extra. Big deal. The card is Mastercard based, so not many people need to withdraw cash. At the same time, we remained with a bank that had the best interest rates by far as well as best interest rates were we in minus.

All in all, the fees for most people actually went down.

I'm not going to speculate why 2020 is not working out well for SCB, but one thing is for sure, they are looking out for us by making sure we get a new home, they are keeping us as up to date as they can, and for sure at least allowing us to continue banking.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Joel Basson (JStrike) said...

The fees have gone up for transfers and ATM withdrawals. Not that that is my biggest concern, because as I said, their fees are still lower than other banks. What angers me is SC and their focus on increasing their profits even more at the expense of their loyal customers.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also truly disgusted with SCB. I will be sure to spit whenever I see their logo

12:00 PM  
Anonymous A customer said...

transfers are under the cap, capped at R80 instead of R100. If you look at the other banks are you disgusted with the profits they make? We get minimum 1 % interest upt to 5.85% where other banks give max 0.25% on most of their balances...

So compared to the others SCB are making peanuts...

12:03 PM  
Blogger Joel Basson (JStrike) said...

I do think the cap is good. But if I ever do reach the R80 I would be truly pissed off. And comparing them to other banks is not good. The big 4 fleece SA customers in an disgusting manner. 20twenty was never about that.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Hi Joel
I see that PnP GoBanking interest rates for positive balances are much better than 20twenty's (apart from R5000-R9999) and their bank charges are generally lower too.
Of course, they don't offer a forum or 24/7 help, but you CAN deposit and withdraw while you're buying your baked beans.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Hawkeye said...

Hey. One thing to bear in mind as crappy as this is. SCB bought a business. That business was one that was making no money. They relaunched the original concept and made changes to try and make it work. It didn't. It costs more now than it did back when. That's business. If it was yours and it just wasn't working, would you flog the dead horse for more than 2 years? I doubt it. I'm annoyed, I've been with them since before they went live in 2001. But stuff happens, businesses fail. We move on.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Joel Basson (JStrike) said...

Hawkeye : I would prefer that they never touched 20twenty then. It now makes 20twenty look like an unattractive purchase.
Business can (and should) look beyond the medium term. If they had stuck with 20twenty and given it a fair shot (say, buy giving it a decent advertsing campaign) over the next couple of years, they would have a larger, very loyal and by then profitable customer base.
They made a $2 billion profit last year. This was very much an option. They just decided to that shor term profits were more important than customer loyalty

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree totally, SCB cant complain because 20Twenty is not making them money. They did not market it at all. All they did was try to work with what they already had. So now they are taking the customers they already have with the home loans and moving on. This was a snatch and grab exercise nothing more.

But one thing is for sure they are rubbing their name in the mud. Most of 20Twenty customers are young South Africans and I know I will never bank with them again.

It takes years to grow a loyal client base. With 20Twenty SCB had more than a loyal client base. But it only took them I email to loose all that loyalty.

Lets face it. Corporate Capitalism and greed won this fight. $2 Billion in profits they could have spared some to advertise more. A few $ go a long way in SA.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

we should inform all of scb's clients around the world to there actions here
this will create alot of nervus clients and we could have some poeple closing there accounts wich could give them a wakeupcall

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

President Thabo Mbeki & others embraces Robert Mugabe

Standard Charted, Barclays, etc supports Robert Mugabe ...

5:38 PM  

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