LETTER: Bank closures make life difficult for the elderly

By READER | 28/03/2017

LETTER: Bank closures make life difficult for the elderly

I RAISE this issue because although the town centre is reasonably well served, so far, the people who live further out in the villages are not and some cannot easily get to any large town, let alone Rotherham. Today RBS, a lame duck bank, is stating it is closing another load of branches. And it is not the only one.

Let me just say at the start, I do the vast majority of my banking transactions online. It is because I am able to and capable of it. And it is highly convenient. I am 71. I did not see a proper computer until I was 44.

However, at least 40 per cent   I can only go by my local and previous experience elsewhere   of older people do not use or understand or have had training to use the internet and most do not want to.

It has been tried probably by more than the council that I became an IT champion for old people for. Out of 19 blocks of council flats for older people only around 20 people out of several hundred were interested which was too low to set up a school in each block.

Where I live there are around 35 sheltered apartments. As far as I can see only about five of the occupants have a tablet or computer. Although it appears a lot more use a smart phone so I do not see a problem with upgrading their knowledge

My grouse with the banks is they use the internet banking as an excuse to close branches and save money and sack staff. And pay their already overpaid pin-striped spivs millions in bonuses.

All of the banks have no regard for the disabled, the old without transport easily in to towns from where they live and those who are not capable of using the internet and have no access to a computer. The only reason, several years ago that I got a full debit card was because my bank did not want wrinklies cluttering up their counters with a queue for their £50/100 a week. or whatever.

Where I lived before they were going to put a computer in the lounge for residents but as only two residents took up the offer of training it was not viable or feasible.

Some older people have relatives who can help them but not that many.

Since RBS is majority-owned by the taxpayer you have to ask why no MPs, especially Labour with their crocodile tears for the poor, have said nothing. And this is an all party issue.

I will not hold my breath.

Martin Fletcher, Thorpe Hesley