/ Money

Banks respond to our calls on branch closures

While responses from banks to our calls on bank branch closures represent a huge step forward, more needs to be done to secure the future of cash.

Earlier this month, our Chief Executive Anabel Hoult wrote to banks and building societies who are members of UK Finance’s Cash Action Group (CAG) asking them to commit to a pause on bank branch closures until alternative ways of accessing cash could be provided to communities impacted. 

In Anabel’s letter, she outlined concerns that any solutions announced and implemented by the Group to protect people’s ability to withdraw and deposit cash would be undermined by decisions taken by individual banks to progress with branch closure programmes. This followed from new analysis that found the rate of branch closures had increased significantly over the past year. 

Shockingly, we found a whopping 298 bank branches closed between June and August – an average of 99 per month, which is far above the 52 closures that have taken place per month in the previous six years, representing a 90% rise. Overall, 736 bank branches shut their doors this year, with another 220 already set to close in 2022. Since January 2015, banks and building societies have closed or scheduled the closure of 4,734 branches.

Win! How banks responded

We’ve now heard back from all the banks we wrote to, including Natalie Ceeney, Chair of the CAG, who responded to us on behalf of the Group. 

In her response, she confirmed the proposals agreed by members, announced last Wednesday, would be delivered to communities immediately and ahead of upcoming branch closures, and that in communities where bank branch closures have taken place over the last year, impact assessments have already been carried out by the Group, and solutions to enable access to cash delivered. 

These proposals will see LINK (the UK’s main ATM operator) tasked with conducting an independent review of every proposed bank branch and ATM closure, with the power to fill any gaps in cash provision to meet the community’s cash needs, by deploying a range of shared services funded by members such as ATMs, shared banking hubs, and enhanced Post Office services. Communities will also be able to request a review of their community’s cash needs by summer 2022.

Find out if your area will be receiving support here

Which? also wrote to banks that are not members of the CAG, asking them to provide detail on their upcoming branch closure programmes. The majority have since confirmed they will not be closing any further bank branches in 2022.

Find out what your bank said here.

Is this enough?

This reassurance from members of the CAG, coupled with the proposals announced by the Group last week, represents a huge step forward in the fight to protect cash.

However, while we’re hopeful that the services delivered by the Group will provide tangible support to communities at risk of losing access to cash, it is clearly important that the body is held to account for its commitments.

We feel strongly that the CAG solutions must provide sufficient access to cash when a bank branch or ATM closes, and the Impact Assessments undertaken ahead of closures must assess the full range of needs in a given area, giving everyone the opportunity to feedback, including vulnerable residents and those most likely to depend on cash. 

We intend to keep a close eye on how the CAG’s proposals work in practice, to make sure they deliver for consumers on the ground. But we also want your help, by telling us how the CAG is delivering for you in your areas, if you are one of the communities affected, or if you’re struggling to access cash, but haven’t received any support.

Legislation is urgently needed

While efforts from industry to support those of their customers who rely on cash are positive, and necessary – these voluntary initiatives do not negate the need for government action. Not least given that the Group does not represent the whole of the industry and firms outside of the group may continue to make decisions that could detrimentally impact local access to cash without any proposed alternative provisions to be put in place. 

Legislation promised by the Chancellor in March 2020 is still urgently needed, to give the proposals announced by the CAG the necessary level of regulatory oversight and to secure the long-term future of cash for those who depend on it – and we will be continuing to fight for this legislation in the New Year. 

Let us know in the comments if you’re worried your local community is at risk of losing access to cash?


Too late for us. Last bank was closed in our North Yorkshire village 2 years ago. Our nearest branch is now 12 miles away 🙁

Hi Ruth – I suggest you contact LINK to explain the problem: https://www.link.co.uk/consumers/request-access-to-cash/

It’s also worth contacting LINK if you need access to banking services that the local Post Office cannot provide.

Marian Gleeson says:
25 December 2021

Hello, Ruth. I’m assuming you still have access to cash by means of an ATM somewhere near you. What I am interested in, however, is why you would have to visit your nearest branch (12 miles away) …. if indeed you do visit it.

Dr Paul Main says:
23 December 2021

10 years ago Clifton Village in Bristol had 4 banks, all with ATMs. Now we have no banks and just one Tesco ATM, which provides no more than £250. This is a residential area with many elderly folk.

I hope you are not emptying the one ATM, Paul. 🙂

I used to wonder whether it was better to use the ATM in our village shop to help demonstrate that it was needed or avoid using it if possible because it was so often empty.

My branch of Barclays closed, without notice, over the summer. It is now a 9.5 miles away. We have one building society and one bank left out of 2 building societies and 4 banks. We do have a post office but access to cash in coins is getting much harder at the same time as the council are using a telephone parking app that charges 35p for each transaction, SMS charge from phone supplier!

Barbara says:
24 December 2021

I left the Coop bank years ago when they closed the Shipley branch in West Yorkshire. I rejoined years later but now they have closed the Bradford branch so my nearest branch is about 11 miles away in Leeds. I bank mostly online and I’ve learned that I could, if necessary, pay in a cheque at the post office so it doesn’t affect me much but then what about older people who don’t bank online. I’m a mere 75! I suppose this is ‘progress’ !

Andrea says:
24 December 2021

ALL of Bayswater (London W2) banks have closed as of September 2021 – first it was Halifax, then TSB Lloyds, next was HSBC, then Santander and the last remaining bank Barclays closed a few months ago in September.

I think there’s an additional issue, in Kings Lynn my hsbc has become a hub, few staff, lots of machines & No Counter Service. Apparently Wisbech or Fakenham.

John B Chorlton says:
24 December 2021

Supermarkets didn’t help when they started giving cashback, or when their “own brand” banks were established , serviced by one of the High St banks.

A key function of our local branch, (closed 6 months ago) was to solve problems for customers. Our son’s account recently had money taken from it for two months, apparently by Amazon Prime. Resolving this took an unanswered phone call of just under an hour, an hour to complete an online form, and an hour telephone conversation plus a 20 minute wait for an operator to pick up the call. Counter staff used to do it all in just a few minutes; they knew customers and there was no long or complicated proceedings to prove who you were.

Banks provide a service? Don’t make me larff!

I expect there are more supermarkets than bank branches now so I hope they will plug the gaps and offer more money services – including cashback without purchase and cash or cheque deposits [using their internal bank as the facilitator]. Their bureaux de change have been fairly idle for the last two years so it should be a good use for their qualified staff and facilities.

Maybe supermarkets would be good places to locate BankingHubs, as described in the CACP report.

It would be a step in the direction of making banks redundant which many might feel they deserve.

I certainly don’t feel that. I am very happy with the two banks that I am with insofar as they have treated me. However, I accept there are some who are anti-bank, as well as anti-business, and I am sure they have their reasons.

I agree. I have always received good service from the Nationwide BS and The Co-operative Bank over several decades and they are both conveniently situated for easy access from home. The Co-op Bank has had a somewhat chequered recent history but, apart from the closure of many branches, it has treated its customers reasonably well and operates under a customer-driven ethical policy.

There are few, if any, commercial banks around today without some stains on their escutcheon and this has led to increased supervision by the regulatory authorities and intervention by the government when things have gone wrong .

I’m happy with the service I have received by my own bank over the years. I can only remember one mistake and that was promptly rectified. For the time being my bank has a branch in town.

Nevertheless there are many comments in this and other Conversations about how people do feel they have been let down by banks. I feel the fault lies with successive governments for failing to ensure sensible provision of banking services to meet the needs of communities.

The sites offering ‘Cashback without purchase’ can be found on the LINK website, along with the locations of ATMs and Post Offices, albeit referred to as ‘Cashback at the till’: https://www.link.co.uk/consumers/locator/ These are marked with an orange CT symbol.

It might be useful to add supermarkets and other venues where cashback is available with purchase with a different symbol.

LINK offers provides a phone app which is better because it shows distances by road rather than as the crow flies.

Correction – I have discovered that the phone app now shows ‘as the crow flies’ distances like the website. I do not know why and LINK assured me that the intention was to update the website but could not say when.

Our branch is closing April 2022 in Wimborne , Dorset and I never thought this would happen. Our nearest branch is 5 miles away with no easy parking.

Ann Bingley says:
25 December 2021

There is a long term strategy to get rid of cash. Once everything is on-line the elite will have total control over people’s finances.

Marian Gleeson says:
25 December 2021

Banks will continue to close their branches, & sadly there’s little any of us can do about that.
1) CASH.
WITHDRAWING cash should not be a problem as long as :
• there is still an ATM to hand – one which is regularly refilled (with money)!
a store which offers cashback.
• Withdrawing a LARGE amount of cash will of course be a problem. That’s when a monthly trip to the bank will have to be undertaken, the large amount withdrawn & then stuffed under the mattress. (which of course we shouldn’t have to do – but what’s the alternative?)

PAYING IN cash: I’d be interested to know what suggestions people have on this point. I pay my (utility) bills by cash at the local Co-op Food Store … but that’s a different matter.

The banks are desperate to see the end of cheques & are slyly persuading us not to use them. It’s now almost impossible to be sent new cheque books. (I personally had to write to the CEO before I was sent a supply.) It’s up to us therefore to thwart their venal plans & to continue to use cheques. Because the banks (during the pandemic) sacked staff (seemingly never replaced), with subsequent telephone waiting times of up to an hour to get through to anyone, as well as hugely long queues of people trying to get into a branch, bills could still be paid by cheque & posted to the payee. This is when cheques really came into their own & were a real life-saver to many, including me. All one needs is a cheque book, envelopes & postage stamps (& ideally a red letter post box around the corner!). It’s so easy. I, for one, will not be humiliated by having to wait for ever on the phone, or forced to queue outside a branch … & it seems that customers will be faced with this appalling situation indefinitely.

I’m now with Metro Bank who continue to expand their number of premises. They’re also open all weekend which other banks fail to do. I suggest moving your accounts away from the big four and use a bank that’s responsive to people’s needs.

Bob Chaloner says:
26 December 2021

No banks left in our village – Poynton in Cheshire. Nearest one in Hazel Grove and a nightmare to park. We have three ATMs. Two in stores which obviously close at night and one at the post office, which on occasion doesn’t work. The forward thinking of the banking fraternity is stunning in its stupidity. I just wonder if any of the people who run these institutions know where the towns these closures happen in are located.

Denis Massey says:
26 December 2021

Im leaving Lloyds Bank Atherton

I live north of Inverness and the whole area is becoming a building site ! The population has increased hugely but the infrastructure can’t cope. We used to have 2 bank’s in our Village and there were 2 Bank’s in a Village 4 miles away but now there are none! We do have 2 Bank’s in a small town 6 miles the other way . When the 4 Bank’s closed I wrote begging the one we used ,to keep 1 open for the sake of those who cannot drive , single parent’s, Pensioner’s and people who are too ill to go far , like me. I received an impersonal response which proved that they don’t care. As long as we use them they don’t even care about our loyalty and they have no loyalty to us.
I wrote to our M.P. who said that he was trying to stop the closures and maybe I would be able to help. I said that I would but unfortunately, I was rushed to hospital with Pneumonia and was found to have lung cancer. I wrote and told our M.P. and that I was sorry that I wouldn’t be able to help. That was the last I heard from any of ‘ them ‘ ! I don’t know why anybody would think that Bank’s would take our wishes into account ! This has become a very callous and uncaring society and that is the same the world over. Sad.

I went to Inverness once, and I couldn’t help noticing how so thoroughly clean and tidy it was, just like so many Scottish towns. I wish it was like that here in England, It’s filthy all over where I live. And the last bank has also closed here in my local town too, the nearest one is now two miles away. And you’re lucky you got a reply from your local mp, the one here won’t even answer ANY of my correspondence, no matter what the subject or how thoroughly civilised I try to be. And you’re dead right about our increasingly uncaring society, that’s what happens as a population becomes so increasingly secular, it wouldn’t be anything like that if our nation was all thoroughly and properly Christian. And there’s supposed to be strict laws against disability EXclusion, but I find myself forcibly locked out of all manner of essential shops and services because of severe disability, and absolutely no-one anywhere ever wants to know, not even disability campaign or advocacy groups which infuriates me.

Crusader — Please be careful with your comments.

Christians don’t have a monopoly on caring, good behaviour, ethical and moral standards, or community support. Most people of all faiths and of no faith share these values.

Inverness is a city and now has few banks. I am not sure which villages Anne is referring to but the highlands of Scotland there are few branches. From memory, there are a couple in Dingwall. The Bank of Scotland is pruning its fortnightly mobile bank services. But we run banks to suit the wishes of the companies rather than the needs of our citizens.

The majority of customers have abandoned bank branches largely by doing their banking online. Fortunately, the banks arrangement with the Post Office means there are now more basic banking outlets than there were 10 years ago.

Scotland has seen the least reduction in ATMs over the last few years than anywhere else in he UK and has the most ATMs per head of population.

However, there has been a continuing change in the banking landscape as customer behaviour, reduction in cash use and pruning of branch and ATM network has continued.

The Community Access to Cash report https://drive.google.com/file/d/12FjYQOpSKOqbhU3Em-_DEMrCjOcnSfHE/view
supported by industry and consumer groups looks at ways inevitable change can be addressed.

That does not help Anne. There is a limit to what you can do at a Post Office.

I was giving information.

I was responding not to Anne but to your comment extending the complaint to Scotland.

However perhaps Anne has a local post office, or will be able to take advantage of a BankHub, cash without purchase, as these schemes develop. Unfortunately not all individuals can be helped through a Convo.

As we are quite unlikely to reverse past bank branch and ATM closures maybe it would be useful to explore ways forward. However, as banks are commercial businesses, any bank or banks may see opportunities to step into the gaps by opening more physical branches with ATMS. Or maybe a nationalised bank subsidised by all of us?

Cashback without Purchase is not currently an option in the area. I had assumed that sites providing the service would be strategically positioned but do not see much evidence of this. We have two sites in this region and both are close to ATMs.

Your proposals?

Planned provision of services including shared branches.

Shared banking has been proposed here for several years and was part of the successful trials reported in the Community Access to Cash report, pp 58-73 https://drive.google.com/file/d/12FjYQOpSKOqbhU3Em-_DEMrCjOcnSfHE/view

According to a recent Sky News report, high street banks will commit to cash access guarantee amid branch closures, (as at 11.12.2021).

”LINK, the UK’s biggest cash machine network, will be given £4m in start-up funding by major banks to get the joint venture up-and-running.”

See: news.sky.com – High Street Banks Commit to Cash Access Guarantee Amid Branch Closures

That’s very encouraging news Malcolm. An efficient system is already up-and-running in my village, as I have previously commented on, with the original ATM still in situ, also a post office complete with its own internal ATM.

I’m glad to hear that, Beryl. I hope the initiatives are successful when more fully rolled out. We need to replace the services that are being lost, with something that will help far more people than had easy access to those services in the past. Time will tell.

I used shared banking back in the late 80s, but only because the local university provided a building for joint use by the main banks. It was well used by students, staff and local residents. More than 30 years later the banking industry is starting to roll-out shared banking services at certain venues in the UK.

From the Abandond Communities report in 2015: “The number of British bank and building society branches has been declining since the demutualisation wave of the late 1980s, but the pace of branch closures has accelerated rapidly in the last few years. In total, Britain has lost 53% of its bank branches since 1989, leaving 1,500 communities with no bank, and another 840 with only one bank remaining. More than 600 branch closures have occurred in the last year alone, and the Swiss bank UBS has predicted that the UK is set to lose another 50% of its total branch network in the next ten years.” https://financialhealthexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Abandoned-Communities.pdf After 2015, branch closures continued leaving more communities without services, as has been well documented. Perhaps that would have been a good time to implement shared banking.

In the highlands of Scotland, ATMs can be miles from each other, which creates a problem when one fails or simply runs out of cash.

Planning is something that should be done in advance and not when we are in a mess. The banks could have saved money by setting up shared branches when the move towards online and phone banking reduced demand for banking services.

The banks agreed with the post office for them to provide key banking services. LINK have done a pretty good job of managing the ATM network in the face of substantial decline in use. The work that has been done by the industry and consumers appears to be bearing fruit as the CACP report indicates. Change happens. I expect many mourn the loss of the local shops, losing out to the supermarkets, and online traders. Should we turn the clock back? We can’t and need to adapt. Unfortunately, change never satisfies all of us.

I stand by every word, as always, and never mind the popular “politically correct” thinking, there is no such thing as “faiths” in the plural, there is multiple religious beliefs, but not multi faiths. Faith is something entirely different but the word has become increasingly misused by those who don’t understand it. To find out more have a look in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, there faith is explained in more detail.

Not quite accurate, Crusader. From the OED:

noun [mass noun]
Complete trust or confidence in someone or something: this restores one’s faith in politicians.
Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof: bereaved people who have shown supreme faith.

• [count noun] a particular religion: the Christian faith.

• [count noun] a strongly held belief: men with strong political faiths.

I don’t trust the oed, it’s a secular publication which won’t give the true definition. True faith is about far more than mere religion, and Christianity goes far beyond religion as anyone who is born again will know. And while I’m not that well educated and don’t know a great deal about serious professional matters, I do know what’s most important of all, how to get saved, and I do know for absolute certain that there is a God. And I can’t discuss it any further on here as it’s way off topic and possibly breaching the terms.

Marian G. says:
28 December 2021

Crusader: Spot on. The word ‘faith’ is endlessly misused, particularly in the use of ‘faith schools’. Drives me crackers. They are NOT faith schools – they’re RELIGIOUS schools. Personally, I have faith in science – certainly not in religion.

The only reason I have had to visit a bank in the last two years is to pay in a cheque. These are still sent out by Government departments, e.g. HMRC and DVLA. They need to get with the times.

Faced with yet another cheque that was threatenting to self-destruct within six months, I opened a free Starling bank account online, which allows cheque deposits by taking a photograph with their App. Much quicker and cheaper than a trip to the nearest branch and no parking fees. The funds clear in two days.

The only other problem I have faced is getting a supply of £5 notes, and the right coins for car parking, although I now have a brace of parking Apps that cover most locations. These are actually better than paying with cash or card, since they alert you when your time is running out, and you can top-up remotely (where allowed) without racing back to the car with a new ticket.

The one thing I do object to is some local authorities charging an additional transaction fee for using an App in their car parks and for on-street parking. The cost should be included in the parking tariff, as councils are not supposed to be using parking fees as a money-making exercise. Maybe something Which? should look into.

Business cheques will soon start to carry additional fraud prevention measures to help detect forgeries in the form of a QR barcode, not that that should be of any concern for the legitimate payee.

I post cheques in to my bank. Nothing has ever gone wrong. It costs 66p in postage but it saves a lot of time and reduces the risk of infection.

I don’t see why government departments could not give payees the option of having rebates and refunds, etc, credited to their bank accounts direct.

I cannot see any justification for local authorities charging a transaction fee for automated payments via Apps. Whatever the handling costs to the council for bank processing it must be lower than having employees going round emptying the parking meters and paying in the cash, and probably no higher than for processing card payments. I wonder if that surcharge has ever been challenged and tested.

Marian G. says:
28 December 2021

I agree with John Ward about posting cheques to one’s bank. All you need is a paying-in slip, an envelope, & a postage stamp. Nothing could be easier or less stress free.

You don’t even need an official paying-in slip, Marian. A simple letter or compliment slip showing your name and address will do. It is important to write the correct account name, sort code and account number on the back of the cheque.

For years I have put cheques and paying-in slips in an envelope and put them in the letterbox at the bank when passing. At one time it saved waiting in a queue and now it’s to avoid the risk of Covid infection. 🙁

As one bank closes along with the ATM, those remaining come under increasing pressure & their ATM’s are either not working or run out of money quicker, Post Offices meanwhile are limited in how much cash they can carry. I wouldn’t mind if the banks were running at a loss, but they are making billions in profits & therefore should have a moral duty to keep branches open, failing that the government should legislate against closures.

David — It is because of the consequences of a branch closure that there has been something of a stampede in some towns as banks have raced to avoid being the last one standing. There has been no planning or coordination. It has made a mockery of the banks’ TV advertising “being there for you” and “at your side”. I believe any place with a population of over 5,000 should have at least one bank.

One thing which concerns me about all these closures, especially in remote areas, is access to banks and other essential services, like post offices and shops selling food and drink and essential household goods for those people who are out of work and can’t find any, often due to various complicated disabilities, but who don’t qualify for disability welfare and who cannot possibly afford their own transport, or internet etc. and often can’t even get a licence to drive, as I can’t, and who live somewhere where buses are very infrequent or even non existent. What are those folk supposed to do? Not everyone is lucky enough to be born so thoroughly fit and healthy and be able to get a whole string of A levels and then go to university and then get a nice well paying professional top job and a car etc. And even in this county where I live far too many such essential services like those for disabled folk, and the elderly, and state nurseries and buses to remote villages etc. keep getting the chop but somehow the county can still afford to blow millions on stupid things like 1,000’s of glass roof bus shelters right across the county which are totally unnecessary.

In calling for the retention of bank branches to maintain the convenient provision of banking services over and above basic deposit, payment and withdrawal functions, consumers need to be reasonable. We should not be expecting all branches to operate for six days a week or even from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm when they are open. Many villages had part-time banks and staff would be rostered to cover a number of branches within an area, and appointments could be made for special business.

I see no reason why similar arrangements could not be made for branches in remote areas today, and even on a shared basis so that Bank A would be there on Monday, Bank B on Tuesdays, and so forth. Modern technology is capable of providing satisfactory security controls, and each participating bank could have its own secure compartment to store documents and money. Basic teller services could be provided on every day the branch was open by whichever bank happened to be in residence that day.

Seeing how buses have been adapted and used to provide vaccination centres I would imagine useful variations on this theme would be capable of suiting most areas, including new settlements that have no banking or post office facilities of any kind and which have been completely ignored by the banks [even though the developers are often required to provide a number of shop units].

BankHubs were well received in the pilots and seem to fulfil this need, as far as I can see. I hope if they are seen as a successful and viable option that they will be implemented as quickly as possible.

“Access to banking services, other than cash and paying in, is a separate topic and we do need to address that in a different way.”

It’s very relevant to this Conversation. I would like to see bank branches help their customers with problems such as debt, scams and coping confidently with the decline in use of cash.

Whilst I abhor the thought of a cashless society, I believe that is where we are heading. I sincerely hope it will be a gradual process and that suitable replacements will be made available in the interim period, so that the elderly and vulnerable will not unduly suffer, some of which have been alluded to and discussed at length here on Convo.

Digital banking will eventually replace all banks: topmobilebanks.com – 6 Reasons Why Digital Banks Are The Future Of Banking.

Kids today are born into a computerised world, that for them it is the equivalent of, and as essential as learning their ABC.

A few years ago, in a hospital waiting room I recall seeing a small child no more than about 18 months old, sitting in a ‘buggy’ clutching an iPad, completely oblivious to everyone and everything else that was going on around it, and I couldn’t help but question the effect this would have on a child’s ability to interact with its fellow peers in later years. Humans are essentially social beings, and most are not happy to stay in isolation for a long period of time before depression sets in, a common problem today with Covid confines and restrictions.

The recent pandemic has no doubt intensified the need to use cards for both online and high street purchases, the online for some has indeed been a lifeline for high risk and the vulnerable elderly. Social media for the computer literate has been an effective substitute and popular with young people and adolescents, but that, as we have so often witnessed has not been without its own problems.

Which? Conversation for some has provided a constructive means of communication for a few regulars, with the added benefit of assisting in solving the many problems in an uncertain and changing technological society. Where it is all heading is anybodies guess, but I predict it will take a long and concerted effort to hold back the tide of the rise and rise of future digital banking.

PS. This is a re-write of yesterday’s that vanished!

I agree that digital banking will continue to expand as the large majority seem to want it. However I do not share your pessimism about cash; I believe it will be around for a long time yet.

Your comment on an 18 month old on an i-Pad is interesting. Isn’t that what we all effectively are doing in Convos? I’d much prefer a physical get together where we could chat about problems. It would be much quicker. 🙂

I am very grateful that Which? is on the case. See “Legislation is urgently needed” in Camilla’s introduction.

We need the government to specify which businesses and other organisations must continue to accept cash. That does not mean that all businesses will accept cash and on one day in Oxford I found four examples that did not – including the Botanic Garden. The needs of our citizens must be respected.

Further north, where I live, I have seen very few signs indicating that businesses are now cashless but those that were cash-only seem to have disappeared.

Suitable replacements for cash could provide an optimistic discussion amongst grown ups Malcolm!

I think a suitable referee maybe necessary for a live get together in the event of a misunderstanding, preferably fully supported with red and yellow cards to boot 🙂

This seems the latest on government action. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/access-to-cash-consultation
They have, quite rightly, put the issue out for consultation. I expect Which? will have responded.

I see the moves by LINK, the banks, and legislation to permit cash without purchase for example are expanding our access to cash. So I see that is an issue in process of improvement already.

The issue that now needs action is access to banking services. I hope there is full support for the notion of “banking hubs” and that these will be rolled out sooner rather than later. Maybe Which? would like to lend its influence?

Beryl — Plus VAR [video assistant referee] to adjudicate in those too-close-to-call situations when the referee’s decision might be disputed? . . . Although it seems that even VAR’s judgements are questioned in the studio analyses by the armchair experts [why are there never any women on MotD to settle the arguments once and for all? ].

John – over the duration of many years experience supporting and working with the mentally ill, I have learned never to judge others without first getting to know them well enough to be able to form an opinion of their true self beyond the confines of their gender, their race, their religion their sex or their status.

I believe 25% to be genetically oriented and 75% conditioned by environmental influences that determine who you are and what you present to the outside world. Others may differ of course,

Agreed, Beryl. You probably wouldn’t want to get to know the pontificators who posture and pose on Match of the Day!

Stephen says:
4 January 2022

At Huntington village (N. of Cannock WS12) the local store “Amos” has a
free to use cash machine. Also COOP 1/2 mile along A34 has one so well
served for locals there.