A lot of talk about branches and so on of late so I thought I'd wade in (knowing absolutely nothing on the topic) as a mere user.
My parents switched to First Direct a few years ago when their bank abandoned their town and moved out. Since then they have done most things over the phone. I have been trying to persuade them to try online banking but have yet to convince them completely
- but it's only a matter of time.
I can't remember the last time I went into a bank, other than when it was raining and I fancied using a dry ATM inside with a shorter queue. Come to think of it I can't recall the last time I called my bank. Years ago I think.
Maybe if I wanted some serious advice I might like to see the person I was talking to face to face so I can grill them, but I could potentially do that online with Skype. And I'd want several opinions. I suppose I don't trust banks. I know they are there
to make a profit, which is fair enough, so I'd want to shop around. This is made easier online.
The thought of them trying to cross sell me stuff is ghastly. It's bad enough when you buy some stamps (if you can find a Post Office that hasn't been shut down) and they try to flog you a credit card.
I realise I'm fortunate to have internet access at home and work - many people don't. There are people out there who genuinely need access to a bank and proper financial advice and services - often in poorer areas where the banks have moved out and dodgy
loan sharks have moved in. What's the answer there? A mobile bank perhaps? A post office....
No money in it probably.