Column: I’m remaining a fan of the counter-culture

Barclays Bank
Barclays Bank

Our columnist Helen Bach says she would prefer to deal with people, not machines, in her column this week...

I was genuinely pleased for our neighbours in Rutland that their county was placed third in the best places to live in the entire country.

It is, indeed, a lovely county, with beautiful towns, villages and countryside - worthy of its Latin motto ‘Multum In Parvo’, meaning much in little.

Slightly more inspiring than our Northamptonshire’s ‘Let Yourself Grow’ which doesn’t really mean much, does it?

I preferred to be greeted with ‘Rose of the Shires’ when crossing back across the border, but there you go.

Anyhow, it seems even Rutland isn’t immune from bank closures - the last branch standing in Uppingham - Barclays - has announced it is to close, the same week that Santander announced their Corby branch was shutting.

Claims that it’s down to the fact people bank differently these days are starting to ring a little hollow, well at least to my ears.

While I accept that some people prefer to bank online or on their smartphones, others are being forced to bank differently because banks keep on shutting branches!

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been standing in my bank queue and have been approached by a member of staff, ‘helpfully’ pointing out that I can use a machine instead.

Well, I don’t want to use a machine thank you - I want to deal with an actual human being.

I actually like exchanging pleasantries with a bank clerk, and making sure that my transaction is being carried out correctly.

On the last occasion I was approached thus, I said to the member of staff concerned, very politely, that she was actually talking herself and her colleagues out of a job.

Her reply was that she much preferred using her iPad and encouraging other people to use the machines instead.

I’m not sure she appreciated the irony of this statement, or she perhaps just didn’t care.

But I’m really concerned for all our towns if banks and shops keep closing down - what will be left, and where will people work?