MSE blog: Cash withdrawal furore. Has bank bashing gone too far?

This is the discussion for my MSE Team blog:

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  • edited 26 May 2010 at 7:28PM
    Paul_HerringPaul_Herring Forumite
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    edited 26 May 2010 at 7:28PM
    However, the level of anger directed at the bank appears unfair.
    Anger derived from their behaviour over the past few years.
    Importantly, banks and building societies need to do as much as they can to reduce queues in branch.
    How about opening a few more windows? Or, I suspect, suggest the staff have their lunchtimes at a different time to the customers that pour in on their lunchtimes. Or maybe, perhaps, related to...
    If that happens, people who need a service where face-to-face interaction is more important, such as when registering a complaint or opening an account in branch,
    ... or being upsold to.

    Seriously, when I feel the need to queue to pay in a cheque, because the bank decided to lose the last one I paid in using one of their machines, I really don't want to be asked "have you considered our XXX savings account," or "would you like a credit card?"

    I get enough of that stuff through my letter box and in my email without wasting 1/2+ the time at the counter asking, yet again, for them to put a note on my account to stop asking me these questions when I'm in the branch.

    Incidentally, since this is A&L (AKA Santander,) they probably deserve all the ire directed at them. Just take a look at the bank forum - they aren't fit to run a bank. They lose paperwork, can't even send out the right paperwork to begin with, leave people without cards when they cancel the working one while the new one is in the post, the list goes on.
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    -o I am humble -o You are attention seeking -o She is Nadine Dorries
  • chambtachambta Forumite
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    In terms of being understaffed; it's a very deliberate act, certainly in RBS/Natwest.
  • Old_WrinklyOld_Wrinkly Forumite
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    This is where I must declare my age, well almost. I’m young (ish). I have grown up as an adult with internet banking, with online shopping and I have an iPhone and would love my bank to launch an app that allows me even quicker access.
    Therefore, with the way I bank, I am not disadvantaged in any way by such moves so you may accuse me of not understanding the situation facing some customers, which would be fair.
    Are there no old(ish) staff at MSE or in the 'MSE Towers' building that Guy could talk to, in order to get a more rounded understanding?
    But if you disagree with me, consider this: the queues at the Barclays, Natwest and Santander branches near MSE towers are horrendous on a good day.
    I’ve waited over half an hour for a scheduled appointment at Santander, not because the staff are incompetent or tardy, but because they are understaffed and struggle with the volume of customers coming in (in their words).
    Isn't Guy missing a trick here. Why doesn't he charge them for his time spent waiting (twiddling his thumbs? or eating Yorkies? ;)) when he has a meeting booked for a specific time?
    but knowing this is happening makes it prudent for banks to move people away from queues, and a couple of meters away in some cases, to the nearby cash machine.
    Someone needs their spell-checker changing from US to UK. ;)
  • EarthBoyEarthBoy Forumite
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    Someone needs their spell-checker changing from US to UK. ;)

    A British spellchecker wouldn't reject "meters" as it is a valid word, i.e. as in gas and electricity meters. The length of distance is metres.
  • pmdukpmduk Forumite
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    In many branches banks have reduced the number of cashier's positions so drastically that it's no surprise there are queues. My first job after school was working for the Halifax back in the '70s. Woe betide a cashier who wasn't serving if there was a customer waiting, the manager would go spare.
  • LokoloLokolo Forumite
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    I'm with Guy on this one.

    Nothing wrong with using a cashpoint and such instead of a person.

    It's the same as old people complaining when computers were first invented.
  • zpppzppp Forumite
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    chambta wrote: »
    In terms of being understaffed; it's a very deliberate act, certainly in RBS/Natwest.

    How is it deliberate may I ask?
    Best Regards

    zppp :)

  • Danstar_2Danstar_2 Forumite
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    I was just in a Natwest today, 12pm. There was 1 Cashier but 3 person queue. I had an appointment with the manager, which I made there and that at the Cashier desk, was seen to in 2mins by the cashier and less than 3 minutes later by the manager.

    She said that today she has 3 people off and having to get some people in from another branch at 1 for the rest of the day.

    It happens, it's probably far from deliberate.
  • 7sefton7sefton Forumite
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    Has anyone noticed that when a branch is refurbished, there is always a reduction in the number of cashier positions?

    This has happened in branches close to me including HSBC (who have 'floor walking' almost as an obstacle to getting to the counter), NatWest (reduced 4 counter positions to just 1!), and all the rebranded B&B/Santander branches. And I remember as a kid waiting in line in Halifax to pay into my savings account and there being at least 6 cashiers available, even in a local suburban branch. Gradually the windows got blocked off until only 2 are left.
  • zpppzppp Forumite
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    The only time I use counter services in NW, is to get change or to pay cheques in - and that's rare. Otherwise, I find that ATMs, and the iPhone app, online banking and text alerts are adequate for my needs.
    Best Regards

    zppp :)

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