Every time a bank closes a branch, it justifies it with the same reason – people are migrating online, and numbers through the door are falling.
I had to amend a standing order this week, and thought I’d use my recently-installed Bank of Scotland app. After all, it’s the present, never mind the future.
When I signed up for it, the bloke from the bank said it’d change my life.
Maybe it’s an age thing, but but I can’t get excited by an app – and I’ve used it only a handful of times in 12 months.
So, here was its big chance to wow me.
The message I got?
Without a hint of irony, it said: “Sorry, some standing orders cannot be processed via the app– please call at your local branch.”
So I went to the High Street branch and joined a queue – something banks also insist are a thing of the past.
Funnily enouigh, every time I do pop in, there’s always a queue!
It underlined the laziness at the heart of the PR message every time a bank branch closes – the same cut and paste message which shows no understanding of the impact on local folk, and Fifers are all too well aware of the hassle every closure causes.
Banks don’t always need to close branches – but they need to be open to new ways of thinking.
We can put Post Offices into old corner stores, so why can’t banks be open to sharing their spaces and ensuring we keep a vital service in the heart of our town centres?
Could they be part of vibrant business/community hubs?
Are banks even willing to think outside the box and consider such ventures – or are they simply looking at the bottom line of culling more numbers from the payroll?
Apps and online access are great, but there is still nothing better – or more re-assuring – than speaking to face to face with a staff member.