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Disappearing Banks

(39 Posts)
mrsmopp Wed 14-Mar-18 23:37:16

Another local bank has closed leaving our small town with no banking facilities at all. Don't they care about their customers any more? A hole in the wall is no substitute. How are businesses supposed to pay in their takings?
Gradually the services of post offices have been whittled away and many of those have closed too.
Why is everything getting worse instead of better? Things really are going down the plug hole aren't they? Fed up I am.

hildajenniJ Wed 14-Mar-18 23:46:58

The last bank in our little town is now only open for three days a week, and if we wanted to do business in an actual branch of NatWest, we'd have to travel 20 miles. Fortunately we still have a full time post office. On line banking might be okay, but if you need to deal with an actual person you're scuppered.

Granny23 Thu 15-Mar-18 00:27:05

Our RBS branch in the nearest town closed a couple of years ago and the B of S Branch is closing next month leaving no banks in the town. Now the next nearest RBS branch in a bigger town (which always has large queues) is set to close later this year. The main PO in that town closed last year - there is now only a counter in a small corner shop. The nearest RBS branch in the opposite direction is also due to close this year, leaving just the 1 Branch in the city within a 10 mile radius. That Branch is in the city centre with no parking available nearby - so important if paying in large amounts of cash and for those with mobility issues.

I am especially angry with the RBS as we, the tax payers actually own it. They say that they are 'rationalising' and that there is no need for small local branches, now that everyone uses internet banking, but the Branches I have detailed are/were always busy. Obviously there are many things from depositing the day's takings in the night safe, exchanging foreign currency, to acquiring a 'float' for a fete or bring and buy. Not to mention people who cannot access the internet, or live in areas without good signal.

The reality is that they are asset stripping, selling off the posh bank buildings (usually turned into pubs or restaurants) and paying off staff. The 2 ladies in the B of S branch which is closing who are both nearing retirement age told me that they are not being made redundant (they would both have been due a small fortune as they have worked for the bank since they left school). Instead, they have been offered part time hours in a Branch far away, which will result in their Bank pensions being based on the part time hours i.e. 50% of the pension they were expecting.

MaizieD Thu 15-Mar-18 09:54:51

Astonishingly, the tiny town which I live on the outskirts of has a TSB and a Barclays. And the larger town, about 5 miles away has the full range of High Street banks, and a Halifax. This is in the depressed NE, too. I have absolutely no explanation for why this should be so.

I'm still suspicious of the security of internet banking.

Teetime Thu 15-Mar-18 10:00:47

All I can say is we have had First Direct since they started I don't know how many years ago with absolute non problems and nothing but help and instant answers to queries. If you phone them they answer in two rings and are always extra extra helpful.
The only problem for me is having stared a Croquet Club I had to have an account with a High Street bank (Barclays)as FD only do personal banking. This is a small market town which has all the main banks and building societies but of course it does serve a large numbers of villages and businesses.

Nonnie Thu 15-Mar-18 10:08:05

I really don't think I miss our NatWest bank. Fortunately we have a post office which is staffed by much better people that NW ever was. The counter staff in NW were nice but couldn't do anything more than day to day paying in and paying out, and when I wanted to speak to someone more senior she was useless and my issue only got sorted when I told her I was going to Tweet and Facebook about it!

If I wanted foreign currency my bank wouldn't be the cheapest place to go, I would order it online and have it delivered.

All in all I think I would rather lose my bank branch than pay for their service but I think it might be different if I were running a small business which needed to pay in cash.

Ellie Anne Thu 15-Mar-18 10:08:23

In the last year we have lost TSB Clydesdale and royal bank of Scotland. If I need to go into the branch I need to go to another town. We still have bank of Scotland and Santander but there are rumours about them too.

Harris27 Thu 15-Mar-18 10:13:11

I've been with Natwest 35 years and still bank with them. However vie git another account with virgin and use that for isa's and as a current account I pay mines in at the local post office that I pass from work so that really helps. I find the Virginia staff so friendly and if you ring up they really are great.

Harris27 Thu 15-Mar-18 10:13:59

Sorry 'money' and virgin staff ?Must check spelling.

LJP1 Thu 15-Mar-18 10:18:38

Post Offices can now take in cheques for the banks and cash can also be paid in there.

Shinyredcar Thu 15-Mar-18 10:19:54

NW are closing everything locally and tell me to go to one of two branches at least 20 miles away. They say no one uses the branches, which is nonsense because there is always a queue. They will send a mobile van for a couple of hours each week. I have seen these, the systems used are back to needing paper again to pay in, not cards, and the steep steps are no use to people with mobility problems. They have to stand outside in the rain and call for someone to come out.

Our other banks are under threat, too. Even the ATMs are closing. The Post Office has queues out of the door (thanks not a little, to ebay parcels). It is very busy and there is nowhere to sit for people in the queue. If people use the mobility aids with built in seats they gum up the whole system.

We have had a thousand new houses built lately and more Industrial Estates, and there is more development planned. How do the Councils allow this when there is no banking infrastructure?

My nearest bus stop is 4 miles away. If I have to stop driving, I shall be in a serious mess. No Bank, no Post Office, unreliable mobile phone signal. Living in the countryside is not for wimps!

Margs Thu 15-Mar-18 10:25:40

It's blithely assumed that everyone but everyone is automatically "online" - but they're not and nor does everyone WANT to be!

Furthermore, just look at the horror stories of those who do their banking via computer and then one day find out that their bank account is registering £0.00p due to having been hacked......

SunnySusie Thu 15-Mar-18 10:35:28

Everything is getting worse because no one really wants to provide services any more. What they want to do is make profit for their shareholders. Endless cost cutting is all aimed at maximising profit. Presumably the marketing departments are tasked with persuading us everything is getting better, but it clearly isnt. The village I lived in when my kids were small had a post office, bank, three pubs, a newsagent, DIY store which sold just about everything, two supermarkets and a thriving community. Now it only has one pub and that is struggling. Everyone zooms through in their cars en route to somewhere else.

goldengirl Thu 15-Mar-18 10:55:54

Another bank is closing in our town. I rarely visit it now but students and older people frequent it quite a lot. I had a telephone call suggesting I should try telephone banking but that is something I don't fancy at all and the person backed down and agreed I could arrange to see an appropriate manager should I request one. I think we're becoming too reliant on technology and are being encouraged to 'trust' non face to face methods. Having had problems with my phone today there are times when I could scream - holding on for goodness knows how long to speak to a human is not how I wish to spend my time!!!
Banks are closing because they're forcing us to change and that's not necessarily a good thing but we accept it as we do other changes. [Not had a good morning so far angry]

Musicelf Thu 15-Mar-18 11:02:45

We had 3 banks. One is now a hairdresser, another is a Costa and the last one has now vanished. We do have a little post office, btut it's very small and cramped, and 3 people make a crowd. There are lots of older people here who do not have internet banking, nor would they wish to. They now rely on friends and family to drive them to the nearest branch.

I realise that the older generation has to make way for the younger in many ways, but we are still here! I'm OK as I am the queen of the internet in my street, but I do feel for people who have no options left.

grannyticktock Thu 15-Mar-18 11:19:14

I haven't used an actual bank branch for at least 30 years. Before switching to online banking, we banked by telephone and post. Now I do almost everything online or using ATMs or the Post Office. If I need to speak to a human being I can do so in the comfort of my home, using the phone.

BRedhead59 Thu 15-Mar-18 11:37:41

I was in Nationwide last week and told that I couldn't pay money into my son's account only a cheque!
As I waited in the queue behind several very elderly people I read a notice which said 'we are closing one of our tills and will arrange computing skills courses for customers" One elderly lady couldn't even work the automatic door on her way out!

Kim19 Thu 15-Mar-18 11:49:04

I am constantly reading that the reason for bank closures is that customers prefer online. Prefer? That's not been my experience when discussing this with many people. Fact is, I am regularly asked by banking staff if I've ever considered online. I reply with a yes and no thanks. I have their dreaded telephone surveys after a branch visit (another waste of time and money) and, yet again, online banking is recommended. Give me strength! Fact is, banks don't want branches and certainly not human beings crossing the threshold. I do so wish we could manage without them lock stock and barrel.

Teacheranne Thu 15-Mar-18 11:58:33

I am the same as grannyticktock, rarely go into my bank having used online banking for years and go to the post office to pay in cheques. I have never had any issues with online banking although I did once have money taken fron my current account but the method used was not linked to online banking - it was a foreign scam which used random account numbers. I got all my money back immediately and in fact my bank noticed the scam before I did!

However, there are many people who do not have access to the Internet or do not wish to use online banking but I guess their numbers are dwindling as younger people are generally more internet savvy.

My mum at 85 does not have the Internet and struggles to use the multitude of phone instructions to press this button or that one to speak to a human being! I have to take her to her branch but in reality, she does not need to go more than a couple of times a year.

Willow500 Thu 15-Mar-18 12:53:02

We had 5 banks in our small market town but are now reduced to two and the Halifax. The market place itself housed two of these banks so it now only has a kebab shop left in it - the ATM's have obviously closed too. The post office has moved twice and is now in a shop. We've used online banking for years but feel for the shop owners who need to pay cash in and those who do not understand or want to do everything online. Just another example of the High Street being decimated forcing everyone to go out of town.

JenniferEccles Thu 15-Mar-18 13:25:45

I can't understand why, say, two banks can't share one premises.
They would save money and still be providing a much needed service for villages and small towns.

I am another one who is very wary of online banking.

Hm999 Thu 15-Mar-18 13:28:07

I got quite angry when 2 small post offices in local large villages were designated for closure just a couple of miles apart. Nearly 40 were due to close across UK, and and 2 were next to each other! It was made worse by the elderly age profile in this county.

Synonymous Thu 15-Mar-18 13:58:13

No bank in our small town now and just a mobile service which is not reliable, has no disabled access and clearly they do not care about people. It is just too cold to hang about in a queue so yesterday we went to the nearest town specially to go to the bank branch there only to discover that they are closed for two weeks with a sign on the door directing customers to another bank another 11 miles further on. We gave up at that point.
We do use Internet Banking but there are things for which you need to use the services of a physical bank and clearly the bank's do know this because they are trying to make it look as if they are still providing the required services with their smoke and mirrors version of difficult to use mobile facilities.

It is all part of moving to the 'cashless society' so that the powers that be, albeit purporting to be actually working for us, can monitor us all much more closely. Asset stripping so that the CEOs at the top can have vastly inflated salaries. No wonder they have totally lost touch with 'The man on the Clapham Omnibus' and no wonder there are people moving over to other systems like 'LETS,' the Local Exchange Trading System, we will be bartering again before long.
Another case of 'Use it or lose it' - if you can!

craftynan Thu 15-Mar-18 13:59:01

I’m happy to do my personal banking online but as treasurer for 4 organisations I need to be able to get to a bank. The one in our nearest town has closed and there are rumours that the one in the next town is also going to close. That will mean a 20mile round trip every time, at my own expense as we are all volunteers.

leeds22 Thu 15-Mar-18 14:37:35

HSBC in our small town closed down last year leaving a Barclays and an under staffed Post Office in the Co-Op. So that means that businesses who bank with HSBC now clog up the already busy Post Office. We wonder how long Barclays will stay. The lovely HSBC building is now looking decrepit and supposedly is going to be a Costa, as if we need another coffee shop, we already have lots of lovely tea rooms.