As a former musician, I have sometimes looked at the music industry with a sense of dismay. Disillusioned by an apparent lack of creativity in much of what has been put in front of consumers’ ears in recent years, I often wondered what happened to all those creative talents, those musical "outside-the-box" thinkers who have blessed us with so much musical joy in the past?
Some of those creative minds must have gone into banking and financial services. It is rather apparent how "creative" the financial services industry has become - “creative” in terms of finding new ways to circumvent regulations and to "milk" consumers instead. Today's Wall Street Journal has a good example of how some companies have become adapt at finding loopholes. Please consider: Fed Aims to Tighten New Rules for Credit
As the article notes:
The proposed rules also address fees frequently tacked onto cards marketed to people with weaker credit histories. The credit-card law, targeting confusing offers that often drew lower-income customers to sign up for costly credit, limited fees to no more than 25% of a card's credit line in the first year.
First Premier Bank has since offered a card with a $300 credit limit and $75 annual fee, plus a $95 processing fee that must be paid before the card is used. The bank, which didn't respond to requests for comment, told The Wall Street Journal earlier this year that the 25% limit only applied to fees charged after an account was opened.
Whether you are a musician, an artist or just a normal consumer, you have to watch out. Creativity is great in music and in art, but it can have its downside when you let bankers & financiers get a hold of creative thinking.
Perhaps it is time to switch roles and have artists put on a banker's head for a change. That analytical mind would do them well and should keep them away from ridiculous terms as described above. In any case, don't forget to carefully read credit card offers. It's your money. Don't let these credit sharks get a hold of it!