Our CEO and founder Tony Nash is back on the BBC Business Matters for the discussion on US banks and why they are not helping enough during the pandemic, India’s Covid and their vaccine efforts, and Friends the Reunion.
This podcast was published on May 28, 2021 and the original source can be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172xvqbttq78ml.
BBC Business Matters Description:
Big US banks have been criticised for not doing enough to help ordinary people during the pandemic. The bosses of JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs were grilled during an appearance before US lawmakers.
Also in the programme, following the deaths of more than 315,000 people from coronavirus, India could fast track the clearance of some foreign vaccines in a bid to speed up vaccination in the country. The BBC’s Rahul Tandon has an extended report on how the country’s rollout is going so far.
Staying in India – we look at the relationship it has with Twitter. The information technology ministry in India has criticised the social media giant after it expressed concern over the potential threat to freedom of expression in the country.
Plus, as the cast of TV sitcom Friends reunite for a one-off special to look back at the making of the show, we discuss why it remains so popular.
RT: Then from Houston, Texas, we have the founder of Complete Intelligence, Tony Nash. I’m always very reassured to have Complete Intelligence on the program as a man of limited intelligence. Yes.
Tony, does that mean looking ahead and this is not a reflection on the current CEOs, but banks are going to have very different CEOs because it’s not all about the numbers anymore, is it?
TN: Well, I think these are smart CEOs, they can handle handle their own. I don’t necessarily think these guys are not skilled enough to handle these topics. These banks handle these topics every day. I think the range of questioning, to be honest, really shows just a lack of focus. These companies are better served when they focus on an issue and go deep on it.
RT: What should they be and focus on? What would you focus on?
TN: Whether it’s green loans or whether it’s access to finance are such rich topics that they could have spent the entire hearing on. And I think the hearing was really meant for a lot of one liners so that people could be seen in the media more than really a desire to dig deeply into this. So, for example, the the fees that were levied, the saving rate of Americans right now is 21 percent. Normally that’s five percent or seven percent, something like that, but it’s 21 percent.
So Americans generally have money. I’m not saying that it wasn’t the overdraft fees were not unfair in some cases, but it’s not as if that was kind of a massive hot button issue really until today. Americans hate banking fees. I think everyone hates banking fees. But I think it was just kind of an opportunistic thing to talk about.
What would have been really interesting to talk about is how those major banks, specifically for things like PPY loans, they did not cater to small businesses, OK, they catered to their largest clients.
RT: Interesting points that from Tony. What do you think? Tony. Anyway she’s part of the world that you know very well here entering an emerging market that should he said there with this strong man, but that’s something you’ll have to do if you want to grow your business.
TN: I think what Twitter has done with government accounts globally is it’s put a label this is from a government account or this is from a person who works for the government. So in the West and I’m sure in the U.K. and other places, you can see, for example, Chinese government spokespeople put out things that are obviously false that Twitter doesn’t police. They have to apply the rules evenly to everybody. So if they’re going to apply these rules to an Indian government official or an American government official, they have to also apply it to a Chinese government official or a Japanese government official. The problem that Twitter has is it is not treating its users equally around the globe.
RT: Twitter having to deal with people from countries. You may not be telling the truth. You mentioned China there. But if an Indian member of the government appears to be not telling the truth and Twitter says so, there’s nothing wrong with that. It has does to stand up on that principle now or does it cave in and say to the Indian government, “OK, we’re going to follow that rule because your market so big?”
TN: Well, Twitter is supposed to be a non-partizan platform. And so they are intervening as partizans at times, and that’s just not fair.
RT: They shouldn’t say anything. Just let people say what they want?
TN: I think they label as a government account. And if it’s seen as government propaganda, then either they let it go or they apply it evenly across all government accounts.
RT: Tony, if I can come to you firstly in Houston, in Texas, a personal question, I suppose. I mean, have you been vaccinated? Tell us a bit about the vaccination situation where I would imagine it’s quite good.
TN: So Texas has about 40 percent of its population vaccinated, and I think it’s 22 million people. So it’s nothing on the scale. I haven’t been vaccinated. I’ve wanted people who’ve needed it to go first. So I’m happy to wait on that so that older people or people at risk or whatever can go first. But the U.S. generally has about 40 percent of the population vaccinated. So things are pretty well advanced here. I was glad to see the U.S. government start to support India about a week and a half ago or something two weeks ago? I think it was really, really late. I think they should have supported India much, much earlier.
RT: Well, I think it’s very admirable that you’re that you’re that sort of attitude that you’ve taken to vaccination. Tony, if you want to get vaccinated in the U.S., what’s the process that you have to go through? One thing that intrigued me was that in India, a country where many people still struggle when it comes to the Internet, the booking system is only online at this particular point in time and only in English. You obviously have large Hispanic community in Texas. Tell us a little bit about how you book it and sort of language abilities that.
TN: It’s online in Texas that I haven’t booked again, because I’ve been waiting for all these other populations to clear, but in Texas it has to be in multiple languages. I mean, we have such large communities here, not just Hispanic communities, but Vietnamese communities and other communities. So it has to be in other languages on the site. A look while we’re talking and if I can find it in time, I’ll let you know.
RT: Great. But if you can’t go online because, you know, there are many parts of the world, as you know, my parents struggle to go online. Sometimes they struggle with many things, really. But online is one of them. Can you make a phone call in Texas to get it? Is there another way? Can you just walk into a center?
TN: I’m not sure if you can just walk in, but there are multiple ways of contact. I’m on the website now, so there are multiple ways to contact. It’s a very, very simple website and it’s a multi-language website. So, yeah, there are multiple ways to get in touch with them with phone number, toll free telephone numbers, even for hearing impaired telephone numbers. So there’s a lot of ways to contact.
RT: Can I just say that was Complete Intelligence there from Tony just getting on the website and doing some live reporting for duty. Certainly did a great job at the Olympic Games are being held in Texas, Tony. And they weren’t vaccines available for the local population. And then you had thousands of people coming in, athletes who would get the vaccination. Do you think that would annoy people?
TN: I don’t think it would annoy people, I mean, Texas is open, we have sporting events and concerts and everything that are alive now. So I, I think Texans view is, look, if you want to get the vaccine, that’s totally fine. If you don’t want to get it, that’s totally fine. And so, you know, if a lot of people were coming in with vaccines, I think people would be fine with it. I don’t think they would they would be concerned if they knew that infected people were coming in. But if people were coming in, you know, checked with vaccines or without vaccines, I don’t think anybody would really mind either way.
RT: Quickly, do you think it’ll go ahead to.
TN: The Olympics, yeah, I hope it does, but I’m not optimistic, I mean, I’m going to say no at this point, but I really wish it would. The world needs something positive to focus on, and an Olympics would be an amazingly positive thing for us to focus on that issue.
RT: I think we all need something positive to focus on. Which one of you is the big Friends fan or are you both maybe.
SR: I like friends, but not a super fan.
TN: That was I was in my 20s when friends was out, so it was just kind of on in the background. It was kind of about people around my age. We had Seinfeld, we had Friends. I mean, the 90s was some really great TV. So it was good. It was a good show.
It was of the time Ross had girlfriends of different races. Ross, his ex-wife was in a same sex couple. Now you know all that stuff. So, I mean, I hear that criticism. But I think at some level, you would always do things differently if you could redo them. But at the time, I think they did a lot. You can’t see history through today’s lenses. You really have to look at it at a contemporary through contemporary lens. And at the time, they were doing a lot of.
RT: Yes. Thank you very much to both of you. Let us end the program, whether you like it or not, with a theme tune from friends.