Sunday September 26/99, BBC 2 19.30
Whatever happened to Britain's familiar high street banks? They are under fire for charging too much, the Government has ordered an inquiry into the way they do business, and a spate of mergers is transforming the face of the high street. British banks are rapidly transforming themselves into giant financial supermarkets, selling their customers everything from mortgages to motor insurance, and from savings plans to share dealing.
Until now, the big banks have remained immune from serious competition. Their customers have remained stubbornly loyal. But is that about to change? Michael Robinson reports.
Bill Dalton: the banker you can trust?
On Monday September 27, one of the most famous names on British high streets vanishes for good. The Midland Bank formally adopts the anonymous-sounding title of its giant new owner, HSBC. Bill Dalton, the Canadian-born boss of HSBC in Britain, has no doubts about the challenge that he and his rival bankers face. In an exclusive interview, he says that new technology and sharper competition means that banks can no longer take customers' loyalty for granted. Instead, they must work harder to earn their trust. More...