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This worries me

(78 Posts)
grapefruit Wed 23-Jan-19 15:57:17

Santander is closing 140 branches I'm very worried about this. I don't bank with them but I do bank with another high street bank and who's to say they won't be next? I enjoy my outings to the bank. The ladies (and one gentleman) who are usually in there are very friendly and we always have a good chat. And I know it's silly but I feel more secure knowing there is a physical building that is responsible for my money. It's been said before, our high streets are changing. But I'm not ready to let go of my visits to the bank. A few years on and I'll have no good reason to leave the house.

Margs Thu 24-Jan-19 10:13:28

Scam hackers must think it's a complete Godsend to have the banks closing branches and pushing/bullying us towards online banking - it must make the job of defrauding us of our money at the click of a mouse so very much easier!

maxdecatt Thu 24-Jan-19 10:13:36

HSBC has closed all branches across our 14 villages. Now one has to travel up to 15 miles to the nearest existing (for te moment) branch. Yet today on opening my HSBC online banking I get a huge notice o the screen: "You Cannot Do Business If You Are Closed". The irony is completely lost on these idiots who make a proffesion of being closed and staying closed. Every time they "upgrade" the online banking it results in chaos...cannot log on.... info not available... try again later. What hey really mean to say is "Bugger Off, we do not want your small account". If everey computer glitch they have results in a billion pound fine they would (maybe) wake up.

Gagagran Thu 24-Jan-19 10:13:54

We bank online and have done for some years now. First Direct is excellent in every respect - recommend them 100%.

I get what little cash we use when we do the supermarket shop but most places take contactless cards for under £30 purchases (or credit cards if over) so we have no problem.

Change to systems you know and are familiar with, after many years usage, is difficult but we can't stop it so best to try and embrace it, in my view.

Nanny41 Thu 24-Jan-19 10:14:49

I enjoy personal banking and use the Halifax a lot, wherever you are and go into Halifax the staff are really friendly and helpful.

leeds22 Thu 24-Jan-19 10:21:01

The teller in our one surviving bank, Barclays, was always asking me to do online banking. I used to say that if Customers didn’t come into the bank then it would eventually close. She replied that it didn’t work like that. I now do internet banking and wait to see developments.

BRedhead59 Thu 24-Jan-19 10:30:55

We are all being forced to bank online despite obvious and well-publicised difficulties, and scams. It's the same with utility bills, which are cheaper if you pay online. I have started paying the TV online but I'm concerned about the plethora of scams which are becoming increasingly more sophisticated. How can we be sure?
Renewing the driving license at 70 is free but if you google it there are numerous companies who will complete the form for you for approximately £70. This to me is also a scam and should be illegal.

mabon1 Thu 24-Jan-19 10:33:48

Our town Conwy is a World Heritage Site and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, we do not one

Saetana Thu 24-Jan-19 10:39:53

I hardly ever go into my bank - I do everything online via my PC, tablet and mobile phone. I can even pay in cheques now by scanning them with the mobile app - and the cash is available in less than 48 hours. However, I live in a city so we do have plenty of bank branches around - including a brand new Metrobank. I don't use cash machines as much either - contactless debit cards are so useful!

Granny23 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:09:26

We have never had a Bank Branch in our village but had a choice of two Branches in neighbouring small towns, both with reserved for customer parking. These have now both closed and our nearest Branch is city centre with no parking nearby. I had to visit to register our POAs with them and having got there and waited in a long queue, I was told that there was no one available qualified to register and I had to make another appointment. When the day arrived I got a phone call saying that the person I had booked with was off sick and so another appointment was made, which was successful. All this accomplished with an OH with a disability and Dementia in tow.

Otherwise we are directed to the PO in our village small supermarket where you queue up at the same counter where you pay for groceries, a long wait, no privacy and shop assistants who have little training in PO business let alone Banking protocols. DD1 Paid in cheques to the value of £500+ to her business account at the local PO and then discovered, a month later that she had gone into overdraft, the cheques had not reached her account, but they suddenly appeared the following day after she complained.

Also the PO will not accept a quantity of loose change, from shop keepers, Church Collections, proceeds of collections /raffles, etc. Nor will they give out large amounts of coins needed for change. creating difficulties for small businesses, clubs and societies.

Bijou Thu 24-Jan-19 11:12:08

When I came to live in a village with no bank I decided to go for telephone banking with First Direct and during 28 years have had no problems and found them very helpful. I get cash from ATM when I go to town to pay window cleaner, gardener etc.

FountainPen Thu 24-Jan-19 11:20:59

A friend had just left her job disillusioned after twenty years with a high street retail bank. She talked about how the job had changed and become one of continuous covert selling. Staff get performance-related pay based on what products and services they can push or persuade customers to buy.

They are trained to engage customers in pleasantries to elicit sales opportunities.

“Are you going on holiday this year?” “Ooh, yes. I’m off to Spain for two weeks.” Travel insurance.

“Did you have to wait long for the bus today?” “No, we came in the car.” Car insurance.

“Brr. On cold days like this I’m glad I haven’t got a dog to walk before I set off for town. What about you? Pet insurance.

Even if she didn’t manage to sell anything she had to demonstrate to her manager that she had asked a high percentage of customers something that could have lead to a sale.

She said that the vast percentage of customers still using counter services are the elderly. There are still people who go in daily and write a cheque for five or ten pounds cash. People who pay all their bills separately by cheque writing out a paying-in form and slip for each bill.

She knew her customers well and hated that she had to do this selling routine but said her manager would complain if she let a customer go without a conversation of the nature described above.

In her very last performance review she was criticised for not doing enough to push the bank’s products. She said (to me) that the bank’s products were rarely the best deal available and while she would go through the sales routine if the manager was nearby she’d would also try to whisper to the customer that there were better deals to be had if they shopped around.

Also, she said that they had to record how long they spent with each customer. Spending five minutes chatting to a lonely person would get her into trouble if she couldn’t justify to her manager that it might lead to a sale.

I know people can always say no but I do wonder how many fall prey to this patter. If this is what retail banking has become then I’m glad that branches are closing.

Anja Thu 24-Jan-19 11:24:15

Oh dear grapefruit you really do need to, as the younger generation put it, ‘get out more’ if visiting your bank is the extent of your social life!

Anja Thu 24-Jan-19 11:25:41

PS why is this thread under News and Politics? ?

ajanela Thu 24-Jan-19 11:33:28

Well grapefruit how about other places where else you can go for a chat? Is there a local coffee group near you or a group in the library or Age Concern. I do understand about having people to relate to when dealing with your money but unfortunately things are changing plus it must be expensive keeping branches open and banks are a business there to make money. The suggestion of banking with the post office might suit you as I always find people to chat to in there.

jaylucy Thu 24-Jan-19 11:34:57

Unfortunately, this seems to be the way things are going.
We used to have a bank in the village, may have been only 2 days a week, but that was fine. It then went to a mobile bank, still ok but when that was taken away and I needed to travel to go to a bank, they lost me as a customer.
I can't actually remember the last time I went in my current bank, tbh, but can understand that for many, the actual face to face transactions and actually speaking to a human whose facial expressions you can see is very important. Unfortunately banks don't see it that way. And there's Nat West saying they care about their customers and are close to them ! Yes, but only if you are in a large town !!!

GabriellaG54 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:35:12

My nearest 'big' town is Guildford which still has Halifax, Barclays, Metro, HSBC, Santander, Natwest, Lloyds and any amount of building societies, however, it's about 16 miles away. Like others, I do all virtually everything online (except food and sime retail therapy) and can scan the odd cheques when they arrive. None of my banks have disappointed in the customer service I've received and the apps are easy to use. M&S have particularly robust security measures. Talk about jumping through hoops of fire. All good. Halifax have voice and fingerprint recognition too.
No complaints from me.

GabriellaG54 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:36:40

blush typos.

maryhoffman37 Thu 24-Jan-19 11:48:23

Our local bank branches have all closed. I bank with RBS and have never lived near a branch. They closed "my" branch (Tottenham Court Road) a year or two back and transferred my accounts to Scotland!

It doesn't really affect me.

Chino Thu 24-Jan-19 11:49:41

Still have 3 banks in my small town- I do use online banking but always visit the bank to get cash from the Atm

Urmstongran Thu 24-Jan-19 11:55:59

I have banked on line for 14 years. Never had one problem with it.
I’m still with the same bank I used since I was 17y. I read somewhere we are more likely to get divorced than change our banks!

SillyNanny321 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:13:01

There are times that I have to go into my Bank to withdraw cash. I have wet AMD hampering my ability to use the cash machines outside so do worry that in future I will have to resort to spending money I do not need or want to in a shop that provides Cash Back!
Though I do bank online there are times when I need cash for my window cleaner, gardener etc. Cannot write a cheque now as my bank will only issue them if you apply each time you want one. Moan over!

Pippa22 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:29:49

Grapefruit, if you are looking for people to chat to why not consider volunteering in a charity shop or hospital if you are fit. There you could socialise and at the same time be usefully busy too.

oldgaijin Thu 24-Jan-19 12:31:02

We lost our RBS branch last year and I don't do online banking because I don't trust it. For dinosaurs like me, they provide a bank van for 45 minutes on a Friday. There is no wi-fi, so everything has to be laboriously done by hand and I have been issued a pay in book. This is how we did our banking in a country area sixty years ago and they call it progress. I don't want to use the Post Office either as, again in a country area, everybody knows your business, so it means a 32 mile round trip in either of two direction, to do my banking. I am dealing with my late mother's estate, something which can't be done from a van or a PO. Bah!!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Thu 24-Jan-19 12:39:18

I visit my bank on a regular basis as I tried on-line briefly and it really was utter rubbish.
Security questions - favourite book, name of first pet, etc - then type in 14th character - does this include spaces, or not? It made my blood boil. So secure it wouldn't even let me in. I prefer to go to a proper bank and speak to a human being. Judging by the queues I'm not alone in this.

4allweknow Thu 24-Jan-19 13:19:03

Rarely visit where I bank, though not truly a bank but still a building society. I did have occasion to visit 3 weeks ago and there was a fair sized queue. GD had emptied her piggy bank she has here, many small change, and wanted some of the paper money stuff. I refuse to pay the commission charged at those money counting machines in supermarkets. Had to obtain the bags to take the coins in. Had a good time with GD (6) counting and putting into bags. Next day back to bank to exchange for the paper stuff. So excited when she received her big person's money. Can't do that with on-line banking. No wonder money means nothing to a lot of the millenials. Often wonder if banks couldn't share a building with say 3 or 4 banks inside, kind of like an indoor market for banks. Would probably only need minimal number of staff each and could even be restricted opening. Would cut the overheads on some of the opulent places currently used.