Monday, 12 February 2018

..Bank closures

Thelma (North Stoke) writes today about Banks closing in her little market town up here in North Yorkshire.   The same is true of the little North Yorkshire town where I live - and I suspect the same is true all over the country.   The reason the  banks give is the rise in on-line banking but where does that leave the rest of us who don't choose to do that?

My local HSBC (which used to be Midland bank many years ago) has been my bank of choice for the last fifty odd years and during that time I have never overdrawn or even come near to it.   Two years ago the branch in our town was given a make over and looked very smart.   'Good'. I thought, they would hardly spend all that money on the branch if they intended to close it.  I couldn't have been more wrong.   A year later it is closed and now the building moulders away at the top of our market square - the railings rusty and thick with weeds and rubbish, the paintwork peeling, thoroughly neglected.   Signs on the windows tell us that eventually it will become a Costa coffee shop.

Meanwhile I have two choices - for some things I can go into the Post Office and do the transaction there, for others I have to go to my designated branch which is twenty five miles away - and I no longer drive in the town.

I suppose it has always been thus - money talks, money dictates what happens.   We minions might think we are the favourites of our banks or whatever, but not so.   The money HSBC spent on doing up a branch destined to close will no doubt already have been clawed back in various money-saving ways.   

And it is not just that.   I think of the protests against Fracking which are taking place near where Thelma lives (North Stoke blog again) - small, devoted folk ardently behind their cause standing up and fighting against giants of industry.

Fittingly in this year when the Suffragette movement is in the news again being a hundred years old, all these things which make us feel 'downtrodden' (and I include many, many female
'causes' in this as well as the two cases above) also serve to remind us that we have a long way to go and I doubt if we will ever get there.

Protesting about anything might make us feel a bit better but can anyone give me an example where it has actually worked (and yes I do know women have the vote but there are plenty of things wrong with society and its attitude to women still).

23 comments:

Heather said...

I don't drive at all any more and neither do I choose to do online banking. I would hate my bank to close here and am concerned about the number of cash points that are threatening to close. It seems as if, little by little, we are all being forced into ways of conducting our lives and businesses without any customer service at all.

Mac n' Janet said...

I don't like online banking and will not do it. Hope our bank stays open, It's been through many changes.

Derek Faulkner said...

Women may have won the vote but they haven't won equality - the latest pay scandals prove that and it's a disgrace.

donna baker said...

It sounds very reasonable in closing those banks since more do online banking. I do mine online and have found it is much easier. Yet, around here, they build new banks on every corner with names I have never heard before. I wonder why there are so many new banks. I wish I could just keep it all under the mattress, but am too afraid. I rarely carry money het my husband pays cash for everything. By the way, there are bank robberies nearly daily, so maybe too many banks isn't a good idea.

Sue said...

Our HSBC bank closed down a few years ago so we switched to their on-line version, First Direct. It's very convenient but I miss the face to face contact because telephones are difficult for me. The old bank building is now a very nice Italian restaurant.

Frugal in Essex Tania said...

My local High Street has seen 3 ban closures, HSBC, Westminster and Barclays. I bank with Nationwide and it's a very popular Building Society. Almost one third of the shops in the town are empty, sign of the times in small towns.

Gail, northern California said...

You've hit a nerve, Weave. I have two strikes against me...fear of having my bank account hacked and an unreliable computer. Either way I am doomed and it's a constant worry.

Amazon might provide everything under the sun, but that company along with Walmart, has managed to almost destroy small town, USA. Frankly, I still love the sound of a bell on the door as I enter a shop and have a clerk shout "Good morning! How can I help you?" Or, "Would you like those wrapped? What's the occasion?" I try very, very hard to shop local.

angryparsnip said...

I online bank just because it is easier for me but there are times I do need to go in to the bank.
Really do not trust the internet with cyber crime.

cheers, parsnip and mandibles

Gwil W said...

In recent years our two nearest post offices and two of our nearest banks have closed their doors. Two of the lost banks are standing empty. Every time I go in bank it seems someone standing around, I assume they work there, suggests I change my ways. Obviously whats coming down the line is a world without cash, EU will be first, that is say it will be a world without physical money in your purse and pocket. Then the take over will be complete. Orwellian it is. They can switch us all off, our online banking, plastic, and whatever else there is, especially if they don't like us, if we are square pegs, and that's it. Goodnight Vienna!

SANDRA nix said...

I totally agree with you, would highly recommend Nationwide if you have one there, they open on Sats as well. I think the way women are treated in this country is appalling, and the way men view women, only good for cooking and sex does not seem to have moved forward since the 50's. Unfortunately, I think women in the USA are even worse off.

jinxxxygirl said...

Pat i think banking and the postal system are two things that will change drastically in our lifetime yet and i don't think there is anything we can do about it.. Protesting.. I still find it important. Even if i cannot name anything that it actually changed.. perhaps someone else can.. Money talks.. you cannot stand in the face of progress... its gonna happen.. I would stand in the face of fracking.. Its a horrible practice... one that just leaves me dumbfounded that we do it to our planet.... Hugs! deb

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

When they held a Public Inquiry about Stansted Airport they'd already built a rail connection and a motorway spur to it. No guesses as to how that came out.
As far as online banking goes - guilty as charged, Your Honour.

Rachel Phillips said...

I have already told Thelma my thoughts on this, i.e. that the banks are ahead of the game and we are not yet at the point where they should be closing. Once all the cheques are gone, and the cash is gone then they can close but not yet. While cheques still exist I still use them. Most of P's customers pay him by cheque. His 97 year old mother goes to the bank every Friday to get some cash out. Try telling her there are other ways of doing this.

Virginia said...

In New Zealand rural communities are losing their banks and left with long(er) distances to travel for services. In the cities, we are down to postal deliveries every second day!! When we were over your way I took photos of your lovely old postboxes (around Devon) with their clearance times on their much-painted faces. Your problem is 4 million people spread over a large distance - economy of scale... AND, a good friend who was No.2 in one of our biggest banks told me "Banks don't care about your opinion unless YOU OWE THEM money"!!! Makes sense from their point of view, not in our interests as the 'little people' though.

Joanne Noragon said...

There is far more work to do than not. I don't know what we can do about money, but fracking is important to stop, any way possible. It doesn't matter that we will be dead and our kids can stop it. No, we have to. And, Weave, you may learn how to pay bills on line. I almost have.

Hilary said...

You are so right.....there is so much wrong with our world........and still so much bias towards women, so much racism, so much hatred. And YES, it's mostly about money.........I'm afraid we have a long way to go. I doubt I will live long enough to see it.
In the US, we find ourselves in the twilight zone.........never in my life would I have imagined that we would have gone backwards, having elected the moron we did.
Discouraging, to say the very least.
I am so glad I did not grow up in the USA that exists now, and did not raise my kids in it.
I feel so sad for my grand kids.

Alphie Soup said...

Don't get me started on banks Weaver Pat! As for fracking, I'm with those people who are taking a stand against it. We have a similiar problem here and farmers are not happy.
I can think of one example where protesting changed an outcome and it was the flooding of the Franklin River here in Tasmania. It was some time ago but with the current move to solar and wind energy it seems to indicate it was a river well saved.

Alphie

Susan Heather said...

Not just the U.K. Branches here in New Zealand are closing all the time. I do on-line banking but still have to go to the bank on occasion and now have to go into town rather than the suburb. They call it progress - like hell it is.

Gwil W said...

They used to say a banker is a man who will lend you his umbrella, but he wants it back when it's raining. Bankers deservedly have a reputation for being merciless and are very unscrupulous, witness the banking scandals of recent years, or go back to the two world wars, or even the Battle of Waterloo. Bankers are responsible for more wars and poverty in the world than people care to admit. I worry that when we arrived at a world without cash and cheques, and there is only electronic banking, as is predicted in the bible only he with the mark will be able to buy or sell (a computer chip which is now a piece of plastic but there's talk of having it in your body - a double whammy under the pretext of preventing terrorism. It already exists in some countries to control admission into night clubs for example). Bankers will take your house, your savings, the bread out of your mouth if they can get away with it. Have you ever noticed if you owe them a bit of money and need a bit more time to pay it back are soon on your back with their threatening letters, their black lists and so on, or maybe they threaten to the bailiffs round, but when they owe you money you never here from them? People should read books about bankers and get up to speed on this very issue. Read about London, the banker Rothschild, and the Battle of Waterloo. There's nothing a banker loves more than a war or the threat of war. That's where the money is to be made. Read Major General Smedley Butler's paper War is a Racket if you don't believe me. When I was a young man I got a job in a bank. I saw people driven to suicidal despair by my bosses.
After 3 years I left.

Cro Magnon said...

Being away from Blighty, I can only function because of on-line banking, and ATM's. If ATM's were to disappear, I'd be scuppered!

thelma said...

Morning Pat, well there is a small victory here, the fracking company, Third Energy has pulled out most of its heavy gear in Kirkbymisperton a couple of days ago. The government had spied a big hole in its finances (sounds familar), think because Barclays pulled out of funding them. Also it has been a bit weird because the government had not given them the go ahead to start operations. Hopefully no other fracking company comes round so the protestors will really have something to celebrate!

Librarian said...

A lot of things that can be done online really suit me, because I don't drive and it saves me having to rush back from work in time before banks, shops and agencies close. For instance, for my annual Yorkshire holiday, I book everything online - our cottage, the plane tickets, and even the train tickets from Manchester Airport to Harrogate. When we arrive at the airport, all we need to do is pick up the tickets from the machine, and off we go - no need to worry about having enough cash on you (in a different currency from our own).
I still go to my local bank for things such as getting money in a foreign currency when needed, or when I want to talk to them about my mortgage (which has not happened in years). It is good to know they are there, and by the looks of it, they will still be around for many more years to come; they are flourishing in my town.
For me, it is something of a "best of both worlds" situation.

Bea said...

It seems we're going 'cashless' as a society. Those of us who aren't keen on that are having a hard time adjusting. I have only recently gotten used to paying for most everything with a card. It's almost second-nature. Some smaller businesses around here are going the Netherlands model of no longer accepting cash payment. The way of the future...