Why do we hate Banks?

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Thu 21 Oct 2010 10:30
For this trip across 17 national borders, we have to have a Carnet de Passage which is issued by the RAC. In effect, this is a guarantee in favour of national Customs Authorities that if the vehicle enters a country but does not leave, either though being sold, stolen or written off in a crash, the RAC will pay the Customs Duty due.  To give this guarantee, the RAC needs to have a guarantee of payment from the Owner that if a call is made against the Carnet, the Owner will foot the bill!
The countries through which we shall be travelling all require a coverage of 150% of the vehicle's value and this is the value of the Carnet.  There are several ways of providing this security to the RAC but we have chosen a Bank Guarantee from Barclays. I cleared this in principle with Barclays in May and made my application 4 weeks ago yesterday.  I then had to provide a statement of assets and liabilities and sign a counter-guarantee for Barclays, which basically said that if their guarantee is called, I'll pay them!
The guarantee was formally approved over two weeks ago but still has not been received by the RAC.
At the beginning of this week it still had not been issued and was sitting on a desk in Manchester. I managed to obtain an assurance that it would be sent out that day, but where is it?
This is causing a problem now as, quite reasonably, the RAC will not start preparing the Carnet until they receive the guarantee but they originally stated that they need 4 weeks for the process.  This is now the Critical Path and could delay our start date.
In my business life I dealt with the issue of Bank Guarantees on an almost daily basis.  I must say that the Saudi American Bank usually managed to issue guarantees the same day and that was 12 years ago.  What price progress? 
The UK government has just published their "spending review" listing enormous cuts in public expenditure brought about to save the nation from bankruptcy.  The UK public hold the Banks principally responsible for the dire state of the Nation's fortunes and the public opinion of Bankers (or ?ankers) is at an all-time low, especially as they all want to now pay themselves mega bonuses while the rest of us bail them out from our tax payments. Who loves a Banker?