Banks have long been trying to improve their image, but after watching the The Big Short – the latest blockbuster to document the 2007/2008 financial crash – any trust I had in them seems to have dissipated.
Tipped for forthcoming Oscar success, the film, which began life as a book by Michael Lewis, is based on the true story of a handful of savvy investors who saw the collapse of the American housing market coming – which preceded the eventual toppling of the worldwide financial system. They essentially bet the banks it would happen – making a lot of dough in the process.
Now I know what you’re thinking, a film about the credit crisis sounds dull. But trust me, this is jaw dropping stuff, told in an engaging way with complex terms explained by celebrity cameos and spliced with pop-culture references from old news footage to music videos.
Boasting a stellar cast, including the likes of Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carrell, you’ll quickly find yourself submerged in the murky world of subprime mortgages, toxic debt and dodgy Wall Street deals.
While it’s a comedy (I can confirm I did laugh out loud), the film also serves as a stark warning; capturing the utter devastation the crash caused; people losing their homes, savings and pensions.
It’s no surprise regulators have since cracked the whip on lending mortgages without first carrying out stringent checks.
Plus, given that at the time of writing the UK press was bandying around the idea that we may be on the brink of a new banking crisis, it also highlights the ever-important need to check your savings are safe.
This is particularly pertinent given 43% of you told us that having your cash protected by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), is the most important factor when picking a bank account.
To conclude, it’s a film worth watching – it gets the AAA rating seal of approval from me…