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Future of local bank branches

(39 Posts)
linelgreen Thu 21-May-20 06:48:29

My local branch now opens 10-2 daily since lockdown. This has I am certain made customers go onto self service options online. What do you think future holds for bank branches on the High street?

OP’s posts: |
Rosehip10 Thu 21-May-20 06:50:37

It was bleak before the pandemic.

Leafyhouse Thu 21-May-20 06:54:06

I hope the Post Office takes over instead, especially for rural areas. People still need to meet their bank manager, but they could either do it at home / business, or via video conferencing.

mrs2468 Thu 21-May-20 06:58:00

@Leafyhouse what tasks do you need to meet your bank manager for? Genuine question. Never in my life have I had to meet them. Application forms, mortgages etc all done over the phone/online. I do think some aspects of a bank still need to be available but meeting their bank manager isn’t one of them.

linelgreen Thu 21-May-20 06:58:35

I do feel for the staff some have been there years and have carried on working throughout serving customers without complaint. it would be sad if they were made redundant at the end of this.

OP’s posts: |
failedasaparent Thu 21-May-20 07:00:10

Given that I haven't been in a branch for many years (my previous and current bank have none) I'd say it was very unlikely they would last

Ginfordinner Thu 21-May-20 07:07:12

Both bank branches in our local market town have closed down. Nat West were getting less than 100 people a week through the door.

eurochick Thu 21-May-20 07:10:51

I'm 44. I've never met my bank manager. I did my first mortgage application back in 2003 in person in the bank but haven't been in for any subsequent mortgage applications. I go in a branch occasionally to pick up foreign currency I've ordered online and once last year to move a lump sum to pay off some of my mortgage (I could have done it online but it would have had to be over several days as it was way in excess of the daily online limit). I'm delighted to be able to do almost all of my banking online, although I do of course feel for the branch staff losing their jobs.

Waxonwaxoff0 Thu 21-May-20 07:14:18

My local Barclays branch had announced it was closing even before the pandemic started.

duffeldaisy Thu 21-May-20 07:17:54

Apart from the sadness of people losing jobs, and security risks (the time I lost my bank card I went into the branch to sort it out as I didn’t want the security risk of ringing numbers found online) there are lots of elderly people who just can’t manage online banking.

They probably will shut, but I reckon one bank will open/keep little high street branches and make a feature of being the bank that has humans to help you. They’ll then get all the customers who want that or who can’t handle virtual banking.

GaraMedouar Thu 21-May-20 07:18:42

In our small town all our banks have now shut. I have to travel 30 min to my nearest bank in neighbouring larger towns. I liked to go in and see a human face, get the pay in slip stamped, that sort of thing.
I used to use it quite a lot as I was Treasurer of a local association , so paid in subs, cheques, cash etc , frequently used to pop in. It became a real pain having to travel so far to a bank as I work full time and had to go out of my way , so for me I handed the Treasurer role onto someone else (Not just because of the bank but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me).

okiedokieme Thu 21-May-20 07:19:53

It was already bad here, they closed 7 out of 10 branches in our city over the last 3 years

Rosehip10 Thu 21-May-20 08:08:12

A branch "bank manger" is an example of a previous white collar job that has been de-skilled to a degree. In the past (long time ago really) a manager had much more autonomy and took decisions on both business and retail banking locally. This moved to loans etc being approved much more centrally and the "manger" basically physically managing the branch only.

Rosehip10 Thu 21-May-20 08:10:01

Maybe we will see the return of the fully state owned retail bank (i.e return of girobank!)

goose1964 Thu 21-May-20 10:22:22

Our bank closed down, there was always a horrendous queue

MereDintofPandiculation Thu 21-May-20 10:39:06

I used to use it quite a lot as I was Treasurer of a local association , so paid in subs, cheques, cash etc Local associations often have a rule that cheques have to be signed by two people - a bit more complicated on-line.

People are suggesting that everyone should move on-line, and that the elderly should just get up to date. It's not till you approach being elderly yourself that you realise your ability to remember a string of numbers is declining, and transferring money to a bank account using only account number and sort code is becoming more difficult to do with confidence. Banks have been making noises about checking the account name, but are hiding behind data protection to avoid implementing this, and meanwhile refusing to refund mistransferred money on the grounds that the customer authorised the transaction.

SinisterBumFacedCat Thu 21-May-20 10:50:08

It’s really unfair on older people or people who struggle with literacy. My DM doesn’t use the internet so she would be effectively shut out of banking if they all disappeared from high streets. This is a well off generation and it would make no sense to get rid of them. Also when I get a suspect text or call I check with my branch to make sure it’s legit. I’ve tried calling their helpline but it takes too long and they are not especially knowledgeable or reassuring.

AmeliaTaylor Thu 21-May-20 13:09:29

I have to travel 30 min to my nearest bank in neighbouring larger towns. I liked to go in and see a human face, get the pay in slip stamped, that sort of thing.

I’m guessing you’re in your fifties, at the very least GaraMedouar? Probably older? I don’t know anyone younger who is of that mindset hence why high street banks are disappearing from the high street. I used to work as a cashier in a LTSB and other than a stream of pensioners each day coming to withdraw cash with a cheque or paying in book, there was no real other use for the branch. I find it very quaint that seeing a human face (unless you’re very lonely) and receiving a stamp is enough of a draw for you to travel for an hour!

GaraMedouar Thu 21-May-20 13:47:34

Haha - yes I am in my fifties. That’s the thing though - I did used to go into my local bank to see a human face. But I now don’t travel 30min for the pleasure. I used to pop into the bank going round town, which was easy. That’s why I stopped being Treasurer as I couldn’t be bothered with the faff and travelling 30 min too far. The trouble is our amateur society had a lot of cash to deal with and pay in (Subs, ticket money etc. ) Can’t do that online. And also I used to have to get out coins - such as 50 x £1 coins or whatever for a cash float so it was very cash heavy.
I also prefer speaking to a cashier in a supermarket and having a little chat rather than using the self pay tills! smile maybe as I work from home, and I’m a single mum that I quite like a little chat - sometimes the only adult conversation I have in a day.

Leafyhouse Thu 21-May-20 14:04:41

Yes, I have to admit I haven't seen a Bank Manager since back when I graduated for my Personal account, but it's different for a Business Account. That's the only reason I'd want to be able to discuss things with my Bank Manager.

But on reflection, they often actually prefer to visit your premises, see the staff, get a feel for the place etc. So maybe we wouldn't need Bank Managers at all?

So there you go. I've just contradicted myself. The perfect balanced viewpoint. grin

Leafyhouse Thu 21-May-20 14:11:38

Oh, and just to add, these Virgin 'Money Lounges' are an interesting experiment to try and define a future for bank branches. Obviously it wouldn't work for the local branch in Chipping-on-the-Wold, but soon this may be the only type of bank branch left:

uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/about-lounges/

countrygirl99 Thu 21-May-20 16:08:35

There are some things you do usually need to physically go into a bank to do, they will vary slightly between banks. Largely around special types of transaction and power of attorney. Everyday transactions can be done by other means but banks have had problems with staff being assaulted because people don't want to comply with controlled entry etc even for transactions they can do at an external ATM.

countrygirl99 Thu 21-May-20 16:10:05

sinisterbumfacedcat deposits and cash withdrawals can be carried out at post offices for most banks.

CuriousaboutSamphire Thu 21-May-20 16:25:31

Small market town. We had 2 banks, Lloyd's closed. Barclays said they wouldn't... Closed less than a year later.

We have issues with cashless payments, very rural. But shops have muddled through until technology caught up. And shops exchange coinage to keep till floats up.

We now rely on the Post Office for banking.

You get used to it.

Patch23042 Thu 21-May-20 16:27:16

I suppose that banks aren’t bothered about losing customers who won’t go online for whatever reason because the loss of these people might be outweighed by the savings from branch closures. Sad, given that people will be unemployed as a result. This was in the pipeline before the pandemic but it will hasten matters I think.

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