Why there’s a W in Banker

I was in the city centre on Friday and Mrs H had asked me to get some 20p coins from the bank. I anticipated this would be a rather straightforward proposition.

Knowing that a teller would not be able to withdraw money with my debit card, I went the cash machine first so I would have something to trade in exchange for the coins. That’s when I discovered that as a result of refurbishment, my bank had reduced the number of cash machines inside from three to two, while at the same time increasing the paying-in machines from one to four. I got the impression that they wanted to get ahold of my money, but they weren’t nearly as keen to let it go.

Then I started looking for a teller. In all the refurbishment, they seemed to have taken away all of the tellers. Finally a woman told me they were upstairs. So I went up stairs. Didn’t see a lift anywhere. Once on the first floor, I looked around and saw no tellers. With more assistance, I was directed to the opposite side of the building and told to go around the corner. Sure enough, tucked away where no one would think to look, there were two tellers.

They used to have three, but is suppose that even with record profits of £11.7 billion last year (up from £10.8 billion in 2004), they had to make some cuts. There was a significant queue of other people who had managed to find this area, but we all need to share in the bank’s hardship.

Above the teller windows was a huge sign with a giant arrow pointing away from the area saying, “Have you tried our express banking?” In other words, “Go away! No, really, go away!” When I got to the window, I indicated to the teller that it made me feel like they didn’t want me there. She just smiled. I also noted that as difficult as it was to find her, at least it was closer than telephone banking, because I have to go all the way to India for that. She just smiled.

My 20p coins in hand, I walked back across the first floor and stumbled upon the unmarked lift. Fortunately, lift doors are fairly recognisable and for those still unsure, above the buttons on a tiny black badge was inscribed the word “LIFT”. When it arrived, I realised that the doors and word may have consitituted misrepresentation. It was the teeny-tiniest space. I’m glad I was alone, as that was the only way to avoid participating in a contact sport or an unnatural act.

When I appeared on the ground floor, asked the customer service woman how a full-size wheelchair and a carer would fit into the lift. She told me she had seen someone with a pram use it. I explained that there is a bit of a difference in size between a wheelchair and a pram. She told me again she had seen someone with a pram use it. Clearly I was dealing with an entirely difference sort of handicap here.

I asked to see someone to whom I could address my concerns, but I was informed that the manager was otherwise engaged. As with everything else, speaking face-to-face with a person is not encouraged. Instead, I was give a brochure on how to complain. This involves writing to the headquaters of this multinational bank which is the largest corporation in the world in terms of assets. And they’re going to care about the size of the lift and the lack of teller service in Hooterville? Yeah, right.

What’s my first New Year’s resolution? Change banks.


3 Responses to Why there’s a W in Banker

  1. Elizabeth says:

    It isn`t the “B” bank by any chance ?
    I still have my “B” account but got myself an account with a bank with a decent attitude to customers.

  2. Dave says:

    It has a “B” in it, now that it’s no longer the “M” bank.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Mu mum banks with them too, and they are not customer -focused here in Blogsville either.

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