Weekly Poll Results – Rural Bank Closures (Week Beginning 4 February 2019)

Question: Are you concerned about the closure of banks in rural areas across Scotland?

Your feedback: Yes  94% (45 respondents) No 6% (3 respondents)

Your comments: 

“My local accessible Bank of Scotland closed in November 2016. Since then I have to do all my transactions in the street at the next nearest branch. The mobile Bank is inaccessible and I cannot even get near enough to it to press the button for assistance (which is half way up the staircase access to the van) so all my mobile bank transactions also occur in the street generally in the path of moving vehicles. I get soaked through to the skin or frozen cold, my cheques get soaked with rain and can blow out of my hand (along with bank notes) in heavy winds. My importance as a customer seems to be non existent and this make me feel worthless. My local accessible RBS branch has just closed and its mobile ban is also inaccessible to me. My Post Office and all local ATMs are inaccessible to me. Banks are not interested in my having the same counter experience as their non disabled customers and no one seems to do anything to improve matters.”

“These banks are being closed without considering the impact this will have on disabled people. Also there is no public transport to get me to another bank and this hasn’t even been considered in the closures!”

” My bank has already modified its online banking system to suit the requirements of the majority using mobile devices. Part of this change the bank has seen fit to remove its previous online secure messaging service. My only means of contacting my banks online service is via a telephone or live chat. As a disabled person I cannot use telephones and rely on email and online messaging systems. I also have memory issues and do not use live chat, I need time to think and process, email or online secure messaging is ideal for me. Effectively my bank are discriminating against anyone who cannot use their limited contact methods and after numerous letters of complaint to them they are not able to uphold my complaints! My bank is effectively discriminatory! My only option now is to physically go to my local branch and attempt to speak or write down my issues with a local member of staff. If the short sighted and anti-electorate Government and the banks pursue their latest divisive whims then people like me will be effectively barred from bank access.”

“People in rural areas suffered enough with the radical Post Office Closure Programme. Now the banks follow suit, weakening the provision of services provided to an already disadvantaged demographic. The topography of Scotland is such that consumers in rural/deep rural areas will see these closures as a further erosion of their means to conduct their financial business. And business owners will be inconvenienced further as they struggle to survive. Disabled people will find these closures difficult in terms of reach and ability. The Banks need to not put profit or economy before customers!”

“Banks are businesses and make their decisions due to commercial pressures. However, the people living in these areas are are not just numbers, they are real and the Bank is an important part of their lives and indeed their safety. If they do not have anywhere to put their money there is a much greater chance of keeping it in the house and they will then become a target for criminals, especially the elderly and disabled, and being in a rural setting, help can take longer to get to them than in an urban setting.”

“Sadly, the majority of those closed are likely to lack good access. Also, apps and Online Banking and their access need to be brought to the fore.”

“I cannot Access the mobile bank that has replaced the Bank and it does not always appear leaving disabled people waiting pointlessly in the cold. So many banking activities cannot be done via a very limited mobile service.”

“I’m concerned about the closure of any bank branch. Closure of banks not only leads to job losses, it also has a detrimental impact on the local economy and the community. Banks put profit before people at every turn. It is disgraced that the UK Government do nothing to stop bank closures- particularly in the case of RBS where the public own the vast majority of the shares.”

“live in Troon, population about 15-18,000 and 720 houses in the process of being built and by July this year.4 out of 6 banks will have closed in 2 years. Banks count one set of figures – how many use the bank weekly? Our MP challenged one of the closures and actual figures over a month were far higher/week , but decision made, end of story.” 

“What are people supposed to do who cannot access their bank accounts and bank services without physically going into their local bank? Not everyone has, wants or is able to access bank services online. Not everyone is able or even wants to access bank services over a phone. There are many rural areas with very poor telephone services and even poorer internet connections. Not everyone has a so-called “smart phone” or a computer let alone knows how to use one to access bank services. Not everyone trusts electronic methods of accessing bank services for whom the only alternatives are physical, personal access. What of disabled people with communication issues for whom their only method of accessing their bank services is again via physical access and personal contact. As usual, the Government is in its own little dream world. “

“I think it’s important for people to be able to go to the bank wherever they live. I live in an urban area and my local branch is about 5 miles from where I live. It closes over lunch and often I can’t visit it because that is the time I am passing it. This is bad enough – a closure would be a whole lot worse. Why should people in rural areas have worse services than people in urban ones?”