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Last Updated: Friday, 13 May 2005, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Have your say: Branch closures
A woman uses an automatic telling machine at The Clydesdale Bank
Clydesdale is to close more than 25% of its branches across Scotland
Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks have announced the closure of 100 of their branches across the UK.

It is the latest step in the decline of the bank and building society network.

The banks say branches are expensive and cannot be justified in small towns and villages in the age of internet and telephone banking.

The British Bankers' Association also rejected the idea of a shared bank branch as a cost-effective solution.

Would you miss your branch? Or do you already have to travel to reach one?

Do you find telephone and internet banking answers all your banking needs?

What about people who do need to go into a branch? What is the answer for them?

What do you think about the idea of a shared shop front?

I find this another sinister move to force all people to bank in the way the big banks want.

That is, we are being moved constantly towards a system which gives no choice but to use telephone or internet banking.

To add insult to injury, we are now charged to take money out of our own bank accounts at cash machines
The banks offer the carrot of better rates on telephone and internet accounts and then justify curtailment of over-the-counter services by the increase in numbers banking that way.

We are forced to have bank accounts by the government in order to facilitate payment of means-tested and other benefits.

Then we are deprived of any real choice as to how to extract that money as local bank and post office branches close.

To add insult to injury, we are now charged to take money out of our own bank accounts at cash machines.

The following financial services do not have their own branches: Cahoot, Egg, First Direct, INGdirect, Morethan and Smile, but make use of the Post Office or postal communication for physical transactions.

If you need to complain it is best done in writing anyway
You can make phone calls or send e-mails to these banks at almost any time.

If you need to complain it is best done in writing anyway.

And as for keeping money at home, why bother with anything more than 10 in small change, especially if you have plastic and can pay for goods at most places and get cash back.

I once lived in an area which once had four branches of the major banks, the last one closed several years ago.

Since then the area has gone into decline and several other businesses have closed.

It is time the banks, which are profitable organisations, realised they have a responsibility to everybody, not just their shareholders.

As a child I used the Yorkshire Penny Bank (as the Yorkshire Bank used to be known) and have continued to do so throughout my life.

With internet banking the banks are using the customer as a employee sans pay!
David Barber
My wife and I will miss our branch, the ease of use and friendly service.

Internet banking is alright for those who have the skills and the time to use it, and the memory for passwords. With internet banking the banks are using the customer as a employee sans pay. We should be charging them!

As a child, with the schools and banks co-operating, I was encouraged to save. Closing branches is going to undermine the worth of the banks to those people it should be encouraging.

I believe in the jargon it is called maintaining a customer base.
David Barber

The closure of numerous bank branches is yet another nail in the coffin of community life in this country.

What on earth would Captain Mannering make of it all?

Perhaps it is time for us all to panic!
Frank Sobey

Get on the internet or use a phone. No-one should have to go in to a branch.

There's no place for retail branches in today's economy
If you need to pay in cheques, get your customers to pay electronically.

There's no place for retail branches in today's economy.

Coffee shops or art galleries housed in old bank buildings make much more sense.

Older people, who are making up more and more of the population, and do not often like to use internet or telephone banking, are becoming isolated by not being able to speak to an individual.
Helen Turner

I am a member of a credit union here in the US. Credit unions are cooperatives whose memberships are limited to certain groups of employees and their families.

[Shared premises] have been working here quite well for some time
James, US
My credit union doesn't have a branch nearby but does have a service centre, which it shares with several other credit unions in the metro Atlanta area.

You can take care of routine transactions here such as deposits and withdrawals.

You still have to go to a branch for some major service such as a car loan or a home mortgage.

This seems to be what the banks in Britain are saying won't work. Well, it's been working here quite well for some time.
James Smith, US

There are two things I want to use a branch for. Paying in cheques, paying bills, and if I want to talk to the manager about something.

I pay things in much more frequently than I need to speak to someone, and I would be prepared to drive into town for that.

Cashpoints are already available outside supermarkets, and I am happy with that.

But the banks should share the paying-in facility. They would have nothing to lose.

Although I do use internet banking, you have to go to a branch to get errors on statements sorted.

What are we supposed to do now? It encourages people, particularly the elderly, to keep cash at home and makes them vulnerable.
Janet Post

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The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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Banks reject shared branches
14 May 05 |  Moneybox
Bank to shut down 100 UK branches
11 May 05 |  Business

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