British pensioners are sharing their anger and frustration over the recent trend of bank branch closures.
High street banks, including NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds, have shut down physical locations on UK high streets, which had led to older people feeling “lost”.
Which? reports that 5,828 bank branches have closed in the UK since January 2015 which represents more than half the sites open at the beginning of that year.
Particular concern has been raised over the impact closures will have on certain communities’ accessibility to cash services going forward.
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Liverpool–based clothing brand Chums spoke with pensioners who have struggled to cope with the changing face of Britain’s high streets.
The business noticed that Knowsley, where Chums is based, has seen the closure of around 35 bank branches since 2020.
Mrs Lawrence, 86, from St. Helens relied on her husband to take care of their banking issues before he sadly passed away. She now has to turn to her son who is more proficient online than she is.
She said: “Now, my son helps me with all this new-fangled banking stuff. Technology overwhelms me, but I’m lucky to have him.
“Not everyone has a family member they can trust with this banking mess. I’m grateful every day that he’s there to guide me through it all. I’d be lost otherwise.”
Mr Coolter, 74, from Lancashire, said: “I’ve seen a lot in my 74 years, but these bank closures are really getting on my nerves.
“Three local banks shut down, and now they’re closing another one. They keep saying, ‘Go online,’ but who can remember all those passwords?
“I’ve written them down somewhere, but where the heck did I put it? I just want to walk into a bank like I used to, you know, with a friendly face who knows me.”
One widow is sharing how ‘lost’ she feels after her local bank branch closed down
William Harman, 78, said he can’t “wrap his head around” online banking and the various verification systems in place to confirm someone’s identity.
He added: “Even with my family’s help, simple tasks like making a one-time payment or setting up a direct debit online, feel like trying to crack a code. It’s frustrating.
“There was this one time I needed to cancel a direct debit to a business I no longer needed, and despite countless attempts, it took me a whole six months before I finally managed to cancel it. It shouldn’t be this hard at my age.”
Last week, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed it would be given more powers to check the necessity of bank branch closures in certain communities.