Actually been in a high street bank recently?

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  • Actually been in a high street bank recently?
  • Premier Icon convert

    Me neither. Not for years until today.

    Bloody hell what a depressing experience. NatWest in a perfectly pleasant market town. Shabby as hell inside. 4 counters but 2 clearly not now in used covered in debris and abandoned promotional material and only one of the two remaining actually manned.

    After a 35min queue apparently what I needed was above the kid behind the screen’s pay grade so I got to sit for an hour waiting for someone more qualified…..the people who go to a bank these days – geez. Pretty much everyone was either stupendously elderly, disabled, had a learning difficulty or borderline homeless. With the impressive lack of privacy the place gave I got hear all their requests. Almost all could have been done either with online banking or at a cash machine but clearly this was not an option for most of them. The slightly manic looking bloke known by his first name so clearly a frequent flyer who asked very loudly again and again who was stealing his money.

    After living in a bubble of computer competent folk and never going near actual bricks and mortar banks for years it was a real eye opener.

    Premier Icon csb

    Was in Nationwide last week to pay in a cheque. Friendly efficient staff, nice environment.

    Premier Icon kcal

    I think as well with the mass closure of rural branches, our local RBS (similar) is the default destination for much of the county. It shows is the pressure the staff are under, mean while there are only two ‘stations’ in the branch despite a permalinks-queue any time I need to go in. Thankfully that’s not often – would only be on behalf of my mum and don’t need to do that any more.


    Natwest’s were always a bit shabby, but they’re rough AF these days, but they’re an RBS brand, they’re being managed into obscurity.

    Lloyds, are surprisingly good. Informed staff who actually have some autonomy. I was warned by our Solicitor the other day it will takes days, if not weeks to shut down our Homebuyers ISAs and get final statements etc. The guy on the counter managed it in about 5 mins, printed out the statements, signed them and away we went.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster

    Yes. HSBC in Crewe was a little more tired than it used to be and they actively try & encourage you not to use the tills these days.

    Would prefer to use the one in Nantwich but it’s become a branch of Joules in the last 12 months so no chance there.

    Premier Icon simon_g

    I pay a cheque in once or twice a year. Always use the machine, not counter.

    The last time I thought I’d need counter service (withdrawing a few grand in cash) I called First Direct to arrange it and they just raised my ATM limit so could take it straight out of a cashpoint.

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou

    Natwest’s were always a bit shabby, but they’re rough AF these days, but they’re an RBS brand, they’re being managed into obscurity.

    The one on Fenchurch Street is quite fancy.

    Still only two (or maybe 3) counters, loads of machines and a person who greets you if you look like joining the counter queue to see if they can help you quicker (by using a machine for instance)

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Not for ages, but will need to do so soon to pay in a cheque. My local branch closed years ago, the nearest is in the next town over and appears to be open from 2pm until 2:05 on alternate Tuesdays.

    Premier Icon kcal

    From memory, I think Monzo (?) allow you pay a cheque in by phone. I’m sure other banks will move to that model in the near future.

    Premier Icon bikebouy

    Costly, and the internet/apps are taking over.

    Barcs started their rundown of branch network in 2010… not long after the crash, and other institutions quickly followed.

    You can pay in cheques via the “complete slip & post” method if you don’t fancy travelling.

    I’m struggling to think why on earth you would need to. Can pay cheques by app with most big banks now. Don’t do cash at all these days so no need for ATM’s or paying in cash. Can understand people have different needs at different times… last year when I was sorting out my mums estate after her death I wouldn’t wanted to have done that over the phone or by online chat, so good to have a face to face service, but other than that I have no need for a bank branch.


    Not since the late 90s.

    how does anyone with a normal job actually manage to get to a bank nowadays??
    sometimes i need to go to santander branch to withdraw more than i can lift from an ATM.
    but recently they’ve changed their opening hours to 9.30am-5pm! its near impossible for anyone not working in centre of town to make it in time at 5pm! i hate the thought of it now


    Not for ages, but will need to do so soon to pay in a cheque.

    I just post them to my branch with a paying in slip (they sent me a cheque book’s worth years back).

    Premier Icon funkmasterp

    Honestly can’t remember the last time I visited a bank.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Natwest today in Ilkeston – a run down former steel and mining town that has inexplicably voted Tory again.

    Two open counters out of three, staffed by chatty staff who obviously knew some of their customers well. Two big paying in machines on one wall, one coin sorting machine taking a lot of hammer from people emptying their change jars for Christmas, one office with someone chatting to a manager, one other member of staff meeting and greeting, helping people use the machines where possible, checking up on simple queries on a laptop.

    Me: This new card you issued to me wouldn’t work today
    Counterstaff: Did you try it in an ATM?
    Me: Yes
    Counterstaff: Did you sign the card on the magnetic strip rather than the signature box underneath sir?
    Me: *checks* *sighs*
    Counterstaff: Let me order you a new card now….and how much were you needing to withdraw today…

    Bloody excellent service

    Premier Icon zippykona

    Metro bank are brilliant.


    You scan your cheque with a Phone these days. Once a year maybe take in some cash to a human as the deposit machines never work.



    Oh, the ironing.

    Premier Icon jamesoz

    A couple of years ago due to a bank cock up that left a long time ex (10 years) access to a supposed no longer joint account meaning I couldn’t even close it if I wanted to.

    luckily not the type to empty accounts ect. Barclays in Reading, large clean branch. Decent service, ignoring the initial cock up that could have been messy.

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix

    Natwest in Dundee takes some beating! What an uninspiring place for customers that is, I really feel sorry for the staff there.

    RBS in Perth is quite pleasant, staff friendly and efficient, and not a bad place to do your banking.


    Banks in wanting to save money shocker! 😜

    Premier Icon paladin

    Nope, we’ve got none left. (Used to be 4).
    We get mobile banks passing through occasionally, but I’ve never had the need to use them.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    Yes, Natwest recently and the branch was clean, tidy with welcoming staff. Only paid in a cheque but do occasionally need to do more that can’t be done online. Only compliments here.


    Not been in for a long time, but had to setup a business account recently with HSBC. What a PITA that was. Taken 4 weeks from an online submission, and they screwed it up once and had to re submit it. Anyway, now that’s done I have to apply for business internet banking. Another ball ache. I’ve decided to book an appointment with the branch closest to work. Apparently takes just a few mins to setup if you speak to them rather than online. So I’m glad there is still the ability to go into the branches.

    how does anyone with a normal job actually manage to get to a bank nowadays??

    My hours are 8-4.15, and 8-2.40 on a friday, a 10 minute drive into town, bank closes at 5pm.

    Normal job, 3 miles outside town centre.

    Premier Icon convert

    My hours are 8-4.15, and 8-2.40 on a friday, a 10 minute drive into town, bank closes at 5pm.

    Normal job, 3 miles outside town centre.

    With respect whist your job might be ‘normal’ i.e. average; those are not typical working hours. Certainly not for someone who is office orientated.

    I’m sure you have enough about you and not too egocentric to understand the point being made.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat

    Have to take in-laws to a local Barclays occasionally, for I-have-no-idea-what-purpose. It’s utterly depressing. Few counters open, queues made entirely of the above-mentioned stream of stereotypes, staff are basically a proxy to the internet banking solution. You could automate the entire thing if you had a realistic-looking automaton for the client to shout at.

    Cheque scanning in the HBOS app is good, but it maxes out at £1000. Santander might catch up someday.

    If you think the front end is rubbish you should spend some time on the other side: the back-end of most of our banks is terrifying. We have consultants who refuse to use some, having seen the infrastructure and software used.

    Reasonably regularly, unfortunately, the HSBC

    Premier Icon FB-ATB

    opening hours to 9.30am-5pm!

    It wasn’t that long ago they used to shut at 4 and not open on Saturday.

    well said

    take an hour out of that for lunch breaks and i’d hardly call that typical hours. fair play to you for those hours, but to me thats less than 35hrs a week, hence not what i would call typical.


    Most of my branches have shut. I can pay in cheques with my phone app and the camera – clever stuff.

    If I need to pay anything in, I can use the post office, forutnately there are still a few, usually in the newsagents, or the one near work is a Subway and Post Office !


    Not been in one for ages as use online, until this last week. They’ve closed all the nearby Natwest branches and that combined with not being v inspired by any of their savigs/ card offerings I thought I should exercise my consumer rights. Not moved since going to liverpool uni at 18!

    HSBC were offering £175 for switching and wife is pleased with App etc so I applied. First experience slightly spoiled when they wanted be to visit branch to show payslips, and ony then said I needed an appointment to go through the account opening….why this couldn’t be online or at the very least all in one trip….but the malvern branch is a clean smart building with a stunning ceiling to look at.

    V nice man talking me through the account online process in a side office when in bumbles an old malvernite and starts asking a question about his inoperative pin! Eventually the man apologises but has to be told to go and wait. HSBC man rolls eyes at me andf mumbles he’s not allowed to comment about customers so I say what we’re both thinking that Malvern does have very many special self-entitled old people it seems.

    Premier Icon jj55

    Try opening an account for a charity or small organisation at Lloyd’s, virtually impossible!! Tried going into the local branch to sort it out with a real person. They just rang the same helpline that I had been using for days trying to sort it out. Local banks are a thing of the past, god help the elderly, disabled, computer illiterate folk!

    Frequently go into Santander to pay in loads of cheques. Sometimes the machine won’t accept them so you have to speak to a pleasant human being. Oh the horror!


    Went in Nationwide branch in Ashton U Lyne last week as needed to drawer a larger than normal amount of cash out.

    Branch is clean and modern inside and only queued for about 4 mins.

    Negatives, as before everyone can here your conversations.

    Also guy in front of me was in wheel chair, and although there was a lowered wheel chair friendly counter it wasnt manned so he had to struggle(not massively) with a regular counter.


    Burnley HSBC.Needed to withdraw cash above my daily limit as a one off to pay a builder so popped in.Pleasantly painless and so much better than having to phone an overseas call centre but a 15 minute drive away,no local branches left obvs.
    I remember not long after I started work 35 years ago, the good old pre cash machine days.We moved to monthly ACT rather than cash or post office girocheques for our wages.We used to get 20 minutes credit a month “bank time” on payday so we could go to the bank to cash a cheque to get our wages.Banks opened after we started work and closed before we finished so everyone had to go during lunchtime,busy indeed.


    I switched to a Cahoot account about 20 years ago so haven’t had a high street bank to go to since then. Don’t miss or need them.


    I’m struggling to think why on earth you would need to.

    I think you answered that later on in your own post. I don’t have to very often, but I’ve been with Lloyds since the 1970’s, and their branch in Chippenham still opens on a Saturday morning, and my account manager is very proactive and helpful when needed.

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