Valentine’s Day was a bitter sweet occasion for one of my really good former friends.
You see, last Valentine’s Day he broke up with his long term partner.
In fact, who knows how long they had been together – I think we’d all lost count of the years that had passed.
It was one of those relationships where you just thought they would be together forever.
A year on, and things have taken quite a twist.
You see, after staying strong and sticking to his word for a year, my friend got back into bed with his ex on Monday night.
I guess the roses and the chocolates and all of that love around town were just too much for him to resist.
The friend in question is the type of guy who just can’t help himself.
He’ll brag a little bit about how things are going and how well he is doing and how he’s the best of the best, but then he goes and acts like all of the others.
The fact that he was back in bed with his ex on Monday night is kind of a little bit sad for his friendship group, particularly given we know he’s started dating some other former flames again as well.
You see, when you say you’re going to break up with somebody, you need to know that you’re sure.
You need to know that you’re going to stick by your decision, because otherwise it can be very, very embarrassing.
We all remember when my friend broke up with his ex because it was on Valentine’s Day last year and I think it was designed to make us think that he’d made a real serious change in his life.
Turns out he was lying all along.
We’ve now discovered he is just as bad as he was back then.
It’s almost like he never broke up with his ex at all.
My friend’s name, by the way, is the National Australia Bank.
You may remember that last Valentine’s Day, they ran a massive campaign announcing that they had “broken up” with the other big banks.
They dared to be different.
The campaign got a lot of attention but in a classic case of the left hand not talking to the right, the genius of the marketing team did not filter down – or up – to the key decision makers in the bank.
It was somewhat ironic that almost 12 months to the day since the famous “break up”, the NAB announced on Monday night that it would follow the other three big banks and raise interest rates despite the Reserve Bank keeping them steady.
Imagine that – the bank that broke up with the others, following them with its tail between its legs saying “me too”.
Customers of the NAB should feel rightly dudded.
Not because of the rate they are getting – after all, the NAB is cheaper than the other three – but because they were with a bank that promised to be different.
But behind the smart advertising and marketing ploys, the same BS exists.
The NAB has egg on its face because it promised to be something but failed to deliver.
That is the ultimate slap in the face to its customers.
But are we the foolish ones?
I recently went through the home loan process and ended up with a smaller lender on a rate cheaper than what the big four had to offer.
Many tell the same story, and it seems if you do your research and look into smaller banks and credit unions, you’ll find that the big four are ripping you off.
So why do we keep walking in the door of the NAB, ANZ, Westpac and CBA?
These are banks that raise your interest rates and sack staff, but post amazing profits and find enough cash in the coffers to sponsor major sporting events, stadiums and take out some of the most expensive advertising options in the country.
You will keep getting screwed by the big four for as long as you keep letting them do it.
They know you won’t ring up and change.
They know that after a hard week of work, you simply won’t bother.
And they enjoy their long lunches with harbour views and expensive champagne, safe in that knowledge.
Do yourself a favour – vote with your feet.
Switching banks is easier than you think, and if you’re the one doing the breaking up, you may just stick with your word.
Tell the NAB that you hope the make-up sex was good, but you’re not sticking around for the cuddle afterwards.