Tag Archives: environment

The end of bank transcripts in paper…

Last week I received a letter from my bank. It stated they will stop sending paper transaction transcripts. These receipts are sent out once a month and show all kinds of details on your money.

The contents of their letter is a notice extraordinaire. Not only do they stop sending me my beloved paper, they are also motivating it. Like I am wasting one of natures most valued resources.

And that is where things go wrong.

It’s time to dissect their notice, and give some feedback on the arguments stated.

Argument 1: 500.000 customers notified us that they didn’t need paper transcripts“.

I’ve got a hunch that this is the second time a letter like this is sent; 500.000 customers did not take action on receiving the first letter; their transaction were stopped automatically. Apparently they didn’t mind, but is that a notification to the bank?

Also: why should i care 500.000 other customers did this?

Argument 2: “ING wants to cut down the unnecessary use of paper, because we want to run our business responsibly“.

This is a clean-face, dirty hands argument. They are mistaking ‘unnecessary’ for ‘cost saving’. This has nothing to do with the environment. Some studies show that using paper requires more forestation. At least they are not using recycled paper.

Argument 3:a printout of transactions displayed on our website is valid in court.

That’s really nice, i don’t have to keep my paper records anymore for legal purposes. Very good for those who lost their paper transcripts. I’m not their target audience for this argument. I skip this one.

Argument 4: we work together with a nature preserving organization, please help us

For tax deduction/legal purposes, ING shoves some money to the side. They give it to a nature protection organization, so they can use it for marketing. Like the “postcode loterij”. At least they are not spending it on hookers and blow.

The meaning of their argument is not clear; are they are trying to make me feel guilty as I’m apparently not helping the environment. This is none of their business.

Argument 5: You can still choose to receive your beloved paper transcripts if you want it that much.

So after all hassling, convincing and emotions, it is possible to continue receiving my transcripts. I’m wondering if social pressure for falsely argumented environmental protection will ever convince me to stop choosing for paper transcripts. Hell, I’m just choosing paper transcripts because they send these types of letters (also on paper).

Argument 6:We provide a tutorial for letting you printing out your bank statements yourself

This is the last and most mind blowing argument. Instead of sending paper transcripts, you can now print them yourself. From your own printer, coming out of your own pocket! So ING has to do even less for its business. Back in the days, quality of service meant something. (aka; you would go under pulling stunts like this, today banks are immune)


ING is cheapskating; the 4 euro-a-year saved from not sending paper transcripts are not going back to the customer. Instead the customer is persuaded to not wanting to have the statements. Using nature as an excuse is silly.

We will not know what ING is doing for the environment; ING is for the larger part a black box. For maintaining a clean face, their letter fulfills its purpose. The environment is just an excuse for cost savings. The only banks that do care about the environemt are Triodos and ASN.

The letter is signed by Hans Hagenaars.

@Hans; better do something awesome for your customers now. Its not all business that makes the world go round. Better not fuck up how nice the Postbank used to be. We want a higher service level for less money. And ow yeah: treat us like humans.

Note: i’ll scan this piece of shit paper when possible. I guess nobody cares about these arguments.