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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 17:24 GMT
Have Your Say: Workplace rules
A Royal Bank of Scotland card
The bank said its policy is in line with other leading banks
Thousands of employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland have been told they must have their salary paid into an account managed by the firm or face disciplinary action.

The bank says this is industry practice and will allow its staff to receive special rewards.

But many are shocked at being told to do this and some are refusing to do so.

We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below.


RBS employs many thousands who don't work in a bank - I don't, I work in insurance. My company was bought three & a half years ago by RBS. I have a free bank account with another bank which I've had for over 20 years which also pays very good interest - that's where my loyalty lies. Who pays charges for an ordinary account? At the moment, at least, nobody needs to. For the benefit of Mr Baker - the mortgages aren't "cheap", I also assume he gets a wage for whatever he does, or does he work for nothing? However, I agree with some of the other correspondents - salary in, salary out, and don't use the account for anything else.
JT, London

I joined a bank in 1972. It was made clear that I would have one of its accounts set up for me to have my salary paid into. I am now retired and my pension is paid into this account. I recall that my account was closely monitored. If I was overdrawn by a couple of quid this was considered a disciplinary matter.
Robert C Rose, Bristol

If my employer threatened me like this, I would tell them where to go
Matt O'Donnell, London
I'm amazed that some people seem to see no problem with the bank's behaviour. I'm sure it wouldn't particularly inconvenience any employees, but the point is that the bank is not asking them to do this, or recommending them to do this, but telling them and threatening them with disciplinary action! Maybe some people like being pushed around? If my employer threatened me like this, I would tell them where to go, in no uncertain terms (and start looking for a more reasonable employer).
Matt O'Donnell, London

RBS is close to using the unfair "Truck System". Under this some employers used to pay their workers partly in vouchers, which could be used only to buy goods in specified shops. The Truck Acts in the 19th Century ensured that this practice was outlawed. RBS's heavy-handed and aggressive tactics should be outlawed today.
Chris Grey, Guildford

When I worked in a bank in the 1960s it was a requirement that one only banked with the bank in question and that you did not take out loans elsewhere.
Richard, Sawbridgesworth

Surely this gives the right message to the general public and more importantly other customers?
Phil Morris, Glusburn
I agree that the company should pay the employees into an account operated by their employer if it operates its own bank. Surely this gives the right message to the general public and more importantly other customers? Otherwise you could be left wondering why an employee would not wish to! If an employee opens an account, they can transfer funds to another bank or building society of their choice immediately after the monthly credit - and this would not cause any problems, so what is the problem?
Phil Morris, Glusburn

If the bank is allowed to get away with this where will it end? What would stop it entering into agreements with others suppliers so that it could dictate that not only did you need to have a bank account with them but also had to buy insurance from their subsidiary or have to buy cars or other goods from dealers they have financial links with. Maybe they will lobby to repeal the law that enforces people being paid money and start paying their staff in tokens that can only be used in places of the bank's choice. Just goes to show that banks treat their staff with the same contempt they treat their customers.
Ian, Aberdeen

We are talking about bank employees who should be financially experienced. So a simple solution for those who have not worked it out. Salary into RBS account Standing Order or individual transfer to accounts of choice. There is no restriction on having accounts with other financial institutions.
Guy Usabreck, Denver

RBS is a clearing bank so I assume the cost of paying its own staff's wages into its own accounts gains economies of scale and operation. Anyone who takes out an RBS mortgage must open a current account there. RBS staff get those mortgages cheaper than those of us who had to pay for our houses with real money. So RBS staff get a wage, a free current account and a cheap mortgage all provided by their employer. Sympathy? Why do they need that as well?
Roland Baker, Luton

I agree this type of "macho management" affects morale. But regarding the issue - what's the problem? Open an account, salary in, money out, problem solved. Don't bank workers know how to transfer money?
Alan M, UK

I hope employees will refuse in the strongest terms
Matt O'Donnell, London
I was amazed to hear this story. It sounds like complete fascism to me. I hope employees will refuse in the strongest terms (though of course they are in a difficult position). Bullies have to be stood up to though.
Matt O'Donnell, London

When I worked for a building society in the mid 80s I was required to have my salary paid into on of its account and no restrictions were put on my having accounts with other banks. I think it was done to make the admin easier. I can understand banks requiring their employees to have an "in house" account for this reason, but making it a disciplinary offence not to is going a bit far!
Michael Paice, Stockport

It is very simple, since the 19 Century The Truck Acts prohibit the practice of dictating where and how employees should spend or hold their money. Unless banks have an exemption?
Edwin Deady, Marlborough

I would not have dreamed of banking with any of our competitors
Jane, East Molesey
I worked for a high street bank for several years in the early 1980s, as did my husband. It was a prerequisite of employment that our current accounts were held with a particular branch of NatWest which served staff accounts. The benefit of this was that no charges were made to the account, we were not allowed unauthorised overdrafts, but personal and home loans were available to us at extremely preferential rates. The benefits far outweighed any disadvantages through lack of choice. I have to admit I would not have dreamed of banking with any of our competitors and still don't! What has happened to company loyalty, I wonder?
Jane, East Molesey

RBS employees could have a "Penny Cheque Protest", by all writing dozens of cheques to each other for one penny, utilising their compulsory so-called "free banking" services at maximum cost to the bank.
Nick Godwin

This is both ridiculous and a disgrace! By these standards, every teacher would be obliged to send their own children to the school they teach in; shop workers could only buy goods in the shop they work in. No employer should have the right to control what lifestyle choices their employees make - as long as the employee is not bringing the employer's business into disrepute. Centuries ago, farm workers could only buy food and goods from their landlords. The result was high prices and an abusive system which kept people poor and hungry. Let's get rid of such practices now before they spread!
Hadassah, Essex


The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.



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Account warning for bank workers
23 Mar 07 |  Business

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