Who doesn’t have a relationship with a bank? My first banking experience was at PosB Singapore in 2000. I was 10 going on 11. I remember having to use my thumb as my signature then while my cousin, 8 years older, could just scribble a wiggly line and get done with it. How annoying.
I also remember going to queue at the bank every week to deposit in S$50. Over 2 years I saved up almost $5000, all of which disappeared in the blink of teenage-hood.
My relationships with banks become sophisticated and complexed as the years go by. With Santander I was impatient and annoyed, having only been trusted with an electron card. I got out of that relationship quick. I moved on to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), a much more pleasant and advantageous fanfare. I was given everything I wanted; debit card, credit card, perks like rail card discount, and easy hassle free transactions. But as I changed, my demands changed while RBS Student Account stays the same so that relationship too become difficult. I looked elsewhere to satisfy my needs; HSBC. That relationship was distant and cold in our transactions but friendly and approachable in person.
Now, at 26, I have the grand total of 6 bank accounts spread across 2 continents in 3 countries. My last affair with Halifax was surprisingly pleasant. Free tea and coffee, free usage of phone at the branch, nice associate who dealt with all my problems with professionalism and a good dose of humour.
Banks, building societies, a safe box, dirty reclusive spaces underneath our bed. We all need a safe place to secure our money, our hard earned wages, our scarce student funds. After all, money in cash is the real value of how much we earn, spend and save. No matter how much we try to count our other assets as means to measure our total worth, money matters. We all use it, need it, and want it. Every single day.
It is no wonder we all have a long, sometimes treacherous relationship with banks. As with any relationship, sometimes it is hard going, sometimes it is easy and pleasurable. Once in a while, it got so bad nothing but hostility is deposited. Other times, it is so great every impossibility is in reach. Whichever way the apple falls, we and the banks are inseparable.
So while this relationship lasts, let’s make it count. Maybe today we work together like rhythm and rhymes, maybe tomorrow it is a riot. But if we don’t have each other we do not have the ease of a card, the security of our home, the possibility of investment, and the opportunities for the future.
For this shoot I mixed an amalgamation of colours and stripes while using a solid colour coat to bring a sense of calm into an otherwise chaotic and eclectic colourful mess. It also reflects my relationship with the banks. In a world of predictable corporate blue and black suits, a little surprise of memorable colours and personality goes a long way. If I am not a high-worth individual in numbers, at least I’m flying high in style 🙂
Thank you for reading.
With special thanks to Manos Tzivakis for the photography!
Many thanks to the Royal Bank of Scotland at St Andrew Square Edinburgh (the bank’s historic original building) for letting us in!
Top: Primark (£5 on sale)
Bottom: Zara (£12.99 on sale)
Coat: Zara (£59.99 on sale)
Hat: Primark (£4 on sale)
Bag: Unknown from Venice (£50)
Brooch: Lovisa (£3 on sale)
Who knew a bank could be so beautiful. I take every opportunity to come in to this RBS branch (since 1825) to do my banking businesses with RBS. Especially grateful that they allow us in to take photos while the bank was open for operations.
Was lucky to chance upon this opportunity to strike a coin during the school holiday seasons at the Museum on the Mound.