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Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK.Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially.Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council meetin…

About Overdraft

Women have been suppressed for thousands of years, when many noble and chivalry man were killed in two World Wide Wars, the aristocracy fell on the ground and smashed into pieces, feminist lifted their head proudly, they began to protest on the street and demand their rights. Their revenge is fierce; man has no way to escape their anger.

Sometimes I wondered that limited liability company was invented by hen-pecked entrepreneurs who tried to protect their property by way of national law after the ancient aristocracy fallen apart. I believe that one Chinese billionaire has deep understanding of the nature of the relationship of husband and wife, he transforms fourteen years of his future salary into company shares, and pays himself symbolic one cent of salary annually, he made these arrangements before the wedding day.

Almost at the same time Man invented Entrepreneurship, the bankers stealthily sneak up behind their back, and persuaded those entrepreneurs to protect their property from their greedy and money-pinching wives, but how foolish are those who trust their money to the bankers instead, just like one who escapes a sea of fire, falls into the mouth of a tiger.

So I think my colleague was wise when he said it’s safer to hid money under your pillow. Of course you may say that I am wiser than him, because I knew that bankers, financial advisers, pension scheme managers, and your wife are the same kind of creatures, you must look out for them. You feel grateful to bankers for keeping your money safe, and let them use it for free, but as soon as you need an overdraft, you’re immediately charged interest daily!

I had a HSBC business current account with a credit card, the credit card payment method is full repayments instead of minimum by direct debit from the current account on a certain day. Once I used the credit card to pay £15 for some stationary. But there isn’t enough fund in the current account, so HSBC Bank overdrew from the current account to pay the debts of the credit card, and charge overdraft handling fee, plus £32 interest which are counted daily for just about a week, the total altogether is £57, and still counting when I finally realised the situation! Isn’t that's ridiculous?

First I received a letters from my HSBC bank, says that the balance of my account is now £51.7 overdrawn and the interest for the debts are counting daily; Then I got calls from Indian Call Centre. I listened to the call centre girl over the phone, who has strong Indian accent, plus my poor English and the £32 overdraft charge, all these made me feel faint and dizzy after I put the handset back to the telephone. But I found out what was happening after the shock at last.

I went to HSBC bank and talked with the banker. I told them that I wouldn't pay the overdraft fee and interest, since overdrawing from a current account to pay a credit card by the same bank seems a clever trick to me, you just put your own money from one pocket to another and charge me expensive handling fee, and daily interest!

The banker threatened me that if I refuse to pay the debts, he will cancel my current account, and issue a Formal Demand Notice for full repayment of my borrowing. That means he will hire debt collection agency, even take it to court. And I answered him that I will strike down the company and file bankruptcy if he insists, at the end he will get nothing. So that’s that. After many consultation, the bank actually can "consider cases of financial difficulty sympathetically", if I am "experiencing financial difficulty".

Then the overdraft charge and the interest were cancelled.

By the way, here is my advice if you don’t have better choice: HSBC is the abbreviation of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. As far as I know, there are no banks better than HSBC, the world's local bank, in term of international banking business. If you travel abroad on a regular basis, or you are an immigrant yourself, especially from the Third World, such as China, HSBC should be your first choice for both private and business banking.


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