Santander Branches to close

cjp

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Call me a cynic but I suspect that the branch staff have for years been shooting themselves in the foot by their approaching people entering the branch to "help them" with the help usually being to encourage people to use the machines rather than cashiers.
Add to this fewer cashier points being staffed no wonder people are making less use of the branches.

Wages are a large part of a Bank's costs.

Same as people being urged to self service in supermarkets.

Self service = poorer service since there are fewer staff
 
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cactustwirly

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Call me a cynic but I suspect that the branch staff have for years been shooting themselves in the foot by their approaching people entering the branch to "help them" with the help usually being to encourage people to use the machines rather than cashiers.
Add to this fewer cashier points being staffed no wonder people are making less use of the branches.

Wages are a large part of a Bank's costs.

Same as people being urged to self service in supermarkets.

Self service = poorer service since there are fewer staff
Errr because most things can be done online now (including opening up a new Account)
Most other things, like paying in Cash/Cheques are more convenient to use a Machine, rather than wait half an hour in a queue for a cashier (who is busy solving a big problem for a customer)
 

Busaholic

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Errr because most things can be done online now (including opening up a new Account)
Most other things, like paying in Cash/Cheques are more convenient to use a Machine, rather than wait half an hour in a queue for a cashier (who is busy solving a big problem for a customer)
Last time I went to pay in a cheque, last Saturday, the machine refused to recognise my paying-in slip, despite it being on an account open since 1988, so I then had to join the queue, which in the wasted time had grown! Just like supermarket self-service tills, they can often be far more inconvenient in practice.
 

Bennski

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Its a shame to see branches shut but honestly as I young person myself, I do everything online with Santander and have only ever set foot in one once to open my very first account. They are their own worst enemy as they make online banking so easy there is literally no need for a physical branch when I have everything at my finger tips. Granted paying in cheques would obviously warrant the need for a branch but even then you can use a self-service machine with no need for human interaction. The way the world is going soon everything will be self-serve including supermarkets as other posters have mentioned.
 

Bletchleyite

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Call me a cynic but I suspect that the branch staff have for years been shooting themselves in the foot by their approaching people entering the branch to "help them" with the help usually being to encourage people to use the machines rather than cashiers.
Add to this fewer cashier points being staffed no wonder people are making less use of the branches.

Wages are a large part of a Bank's costs.

Same as people being urged to self service in supermarkets.

Self service = poorer service since there are fewer staff
Internet banking genuinely does offer better service. Why would I want to waste time going to a bank branch when I can just do it all myself on my computer or phone, and pay in cheques by free post (soon by taking a photo of it on my phone)? As for cash there's the post office (or in Monzo's case PayPoint[1]) but I can't remember the last time I paid in cash.

I think branch banking is dead, though there may be room for the likes of Metro Bank as a premium offering which does keep the concept for people who do prefer it.

[1] For a £1 fee, but a bus ride to the centre and back will cost me about £4.something, while I will spend £1 in petrol alone, let alone parking, to drive there.
 

Bletchleyite

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Last time I went to pay in a cheque, last Saturday, the machine refused to recognise my paying-in slip, despite it being on an account open since 1988, so I then had to join the queue, which in the wasted time had grown! Just like supermarket self-service tills, they can often be far more inconvenient in practice.
Get a decent bank.

To pay in a cheque on Monzo all you need to do is write your account number (not even sort code) on the back of it and put it in an envelope and write Freepost Monzo on it, then lob in a post box.

They are planning to incorporate the new photographic clearing into the app within a few months, even better then. I think at least one bank already did.
 

ComUtoR

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I haven't had a cheque refused by a ATM yet but my bank (not monzo) will accept a photo/scan of a cheque but still requires it to be sent in the post.
 

Bertie the bus

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Banks are definitely doing everything they possibly can to make branches redundant.

I bought a car at the start of the year. I anticipated paying by debit card but bizarrely the showroom has a £500 limit on card payments – EU anti money laundering legislation apparently, though that came as a shock to my bank – and so it had to be a bank transfer. As I don’t do internet banking they wanted to charge me £30. Internet banking would have been free. In the end a helpful member of staff showed me how to do it without charge.

Despite what some say, closing branches is not in customers' interests in the slightest. Neither, in my opinion, is contactless which I also refuse to use or accept a contactless card but that is another subject.
 

cjp

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One of my banks (Lloyd's) has an app which with difficulty would let me pay in a cheque after a lot of shuffling about with the phone but another one had to go to a branch.

However I have yet to find a ATM which dispenses either £50 or £5 notes and unlike many on here I do not use plastic for everything for me Cash is King and when I do not have it I do not spend.
 

thejuggler

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Banks are definitely doing everything they possibly can to make branches redundant.

I bought a car at the start of the year. I anticipated paying by debit card but bizarrely the showroom has a £500 limit on card payments – EU anti money laundering legislation apparently, though that came as a shock to my bank – and so it had to be a bank transfer. As I don’t do internet banking they wanted to charge me £30. Internet banking would have been free. In the end a helpful member of staff showed me how to do it without charge.

Despite what some say, closing branches is not in customers' interests in the slightest. Neither, in my opinion, is contactless which I also refuse to use or accept a contactless card but that is another subject.
Car dealerships refuse cards for very large amounts as it would now mean them absorbing the costs if you paid by credit card. Easier to limit the transaction amount.
 

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Killingworth

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I've been using Internet banking since 1997 and haven't been in to a branch for years. Pay with contactless more often than cash - haven't used an ATM since about November. Make payments by bank transfer and only use 4 or 5 cheques a year. Must have bought cars with a card for almost 20 years. Haven't used telephone banking either.

Captain Mainwaring could have been the manager of the branch where I opened my first current account. Times have changed. Young people don't have cheque books. As more act like them, and fewer use cash the less need there is for bank branches. The writing has been on the wall for at least 20 years. What surprises me is that Santander have kept so many branches for so long.
 

ooo

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Get a decent bank.

To pay in a cheque on Monzo all you need to do is write your account number (not even sort code) on the back of it and put it in an envelope and write Freepost Monzo on it, then lob in a post box.

They are planning to incorporate the new photographic clearing into the app within a few months, even better then. I think at least one bank already did.
Lloyds already offer it for cheques up to £500.
Since then I've only been to an actual branch once to pay in a cheque for more than the limit.

One of my local branches only has machines and a few people to help after a certain time with the counters closed
 

DarloRich

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Call me a cynic but I suspect that the branch staff have for years been shooting themselves in the foot by their approaching people entering the branch to "help them" with the help usually being to encourage people to use the machines rather than cashiers.
Add to this fewer cashier points being staffed no wonder people are making less use of the branches.

Wages are a large part of a Bank's costs.

Same as people being urged to self service in supermarkets.

Self service = poorer service since there are fewer staff
you are a cynic. Self service doesn't = poor service. On the rare occasions I need to pay a cheque in as long as the machine will take it i can be in and out in about 2 minutes. The future of personal banking is on line.
 

radamfi

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What is the logic behind the establishment and continued growth of the Metrobank chain? They have very long opening hours and open 7 days a week.
 

PeterC

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I've bought my last 2 cars on debit card. Neither accepted large credit card payments but debit cards are different.
So did I. Last one was just under 2 years ago. It will be a few more years before I get the next one but I won't be happy if I can't pay by card.
 

PeterC

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What is the logic behind the establishment and continued growth of the Metrobank chain? They have very long opening hours and open 7 days a week.
The last account that I opened (as executor for my mother) and to become a signatory on a club account both required producing id in person. Simply having a presence on the street makes it easier for customers to jump through these hoops.
 

gswindale

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I'm not a fan of the new fangled machines where you put your card in and then have the cheques scanned in.

I much prefer the old self service method of paying in slip plus cheque(s) in envelope in the postbox in the foyer of the branch. Was faster ( I could fill the slip in on the way there).

I guess I should try the app for paying in cheques, but that would require somebody sending me one!
 

radamfi

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Metrobank print out debit cards in branch so if you lose your card you can get it replaced in minutes.
 

Bletchleyite

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I bought a car at the start of the year. I anticipated paying by debit card but bizarrely the showroom has a £500 limit on card payments – EU anti money laundering legislation apparently
Complete load of drivel. I have paid several grand by debit card for a car on three occasions now. In the most recent of the three it was 5 figures, in the other two it was high 4 figures.

There is a reasonable chance of it referring for manual authorisation, but that isn't a problem per-se.
 

Bletchleyite

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you are a cynic. Self service doesn't = poor service. On the rare occasions I need to pay a cheque in as long as the machine will take it i can be in and out in about 2 minutes. The future of personal banking is on line.
I would rather self-service for as much as possible then easy and quick access to high quality staff with authority to solve problems for when it goes wrong. In my experience Monzo are doing exactly that. I believe First Direct have a good reputation for this too.

"Drone staff" in call centres doing what one can do oneself are dying off as a concept (why would I want to phone someone to get them to do what I can do?) - the spending on staff is not necessarily actually reducing. The future of staffing in all industries is quality, knowledgeable advice and customer service, which is what people do better than any machine.
 

Bletchleyite

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Car dealerships refuse cards for very large amounts as it would now mean them absorbing the costs if you paid by credit card. Easier to limit the transaction amount.
This is the downside of the bar on credit card fees and is why I would prefer fees were allowed. For debit cards it's different as the charge is typically a fixed (and quite small) sum regardless of the transaction amount.
 

Bald Rick

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What is the logic behind the establishment and continued growth of the Metrobank chain? They have very long opening hours and open 7 days a week.
Possibly flawed logic....

https://www.theguardian.com/busines...ank-shares-crash-after-loans-blunder-revealed

Metro Bank has revealed a major blunder in how it classifies its loan book, an admission that drove its share price down by nearly 40% on Wednesday, wiping £800m off the value of the company.

The bank, which has been opening new branches as established rivals cut back, revealed that hundreds of millions of pounds of commercial property loans and loans to commercial buy-to-let operators had been wrongly classified in risk terms, and should have been among its “risk-weighted assets” (RWAs).

After the blunder emerged, Metro’s shares plummeted 39% from £22 to close at £13.45 as analysts feared the bank might have to raise fresh capital, just six months after tapping shareholders for £300m to finance its rapid expansion plans. When a bank has higher risk-weighted assets, regulators require higher amounts of capital to be set aside.

Metro launched in 2010 and has opened new banking halls in city centres across the south of England. It floated on the stock market in March 2016 at £20 a share, which rose to more than £40 a share in March last year, but has since been falling
 

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