Comment: Could you help someone affected by bank closures to switch?

Clydesdale Bank has announced closures in the Lothians

Clydesdale Bank has announced closures in the Lothians

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When was the last time that you went in to your bank?

At the risk of making too much of a sweeping a statement, your answer probably depends largely on your age. If you are in your eighties, then it was probably the last time that you needed to make any significant transaction, probably in the last few weeks or months. If you are much younger than that, then there’s a very good chance that it was several years ago - maybe the last time you changed your mortgage.

The march of Internet banking is one of the hallmarks of modern life. Banking of course is far from alone in this sense, but sooner rather than later pretty much everyone will regard online transactions as the norm. But for a large part of the population that is not yet the case.

As the banks rush to follow the majority of their customers who have switched to online they are leaving significant numbers of their customers behind.

What normally holds back big institutions from abandoning whole trenches of folk in this way is the fear that large numbers of them will simply walk away. Unfortunately, those who are not comfortable with Internet banking are also among the least likely to switch their accounts to other banks.

So what can we do in the face of this seemingly unstoppable movement? If you or someone you know is being left in the lurch by any of these recent bank closures, there are two things that you can do.

Contact your local MP or MSP. It might sound like a feeble protest. However, good politicians listen to their constituents and make a noise about things that upset them. The post-crash banks are not completely immune to public opinion. Alternatively, if you can, offer to help someone affected to switch banks to one that remains committed to your local community.