Brockley banking

Maximillian Cohen: 1. Mathematics is the language of nature. 2. Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. 3. If you graph these numbers, patterns emerge. Therefore: There are patterns everywhere in nature.
- Pi

As reported more thoroughly on 853blog, Nationwide is planning to close seven branches in South East London, including Lewisham, Greenwich, Catford and Blackheath. The closures will take place in May and will reduce the already-poor choice of local banking options.

Brockley itself is especially hard done by, with Barclay's in Crofton Park the only local option. Until a few years ago, it also offered the only free cash machine in the neighbourhood (in the early days of Brockley Central, before van hire companies became our bete noir, the lack of free machines was our most regular grumble).

So please use this thread to share your advice on local banking.

Thanks to Mike for suggesting the thread topic.

126 comments:

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I use an online/telephone bank and rely upon the supermarkets for cash - cashback at the till or hole in the wall.

I would think there is an opening for another branch bank in Brockley or New Cross.

Richard Elliot said...

That's a blow for the area. I used to pop into the Nationwide in Lewisham on Saturdays every now and then and it always seemed busy.

They don't have a branch in Canary Wharf either, so people who work in CW and live in Brockers are effectively left without a branch to visit.

Tim said...

Who cares? Branch banking is an anachronism, and not particularly profitable for banks.

Anonymous said...

It could mean a lot of people leaving Nationwide for another alternative.

Maybe the van hire company could install a free cash machine.

Anonymous said...

Disaster! not profitable for the banks!

I hardly use a branch but banks are not optional and they make money by looking after our money. Also some, admitedly not many, do use branches. To wipe them all out seems a little excessive.

Tim said...

It's a business decision that Nationwide have taken, based on demand. If it makes sense, other banks will fill the gap. Suspect that won't happen. Vast majority of people will have to travel an extra ten minutes on that rare occasion when they need a branch.

Tressilliana said...

The Co-op is great and has a branch in Lewisham for those occasions when you actually do have to go to a branch.

Tim, you may not care about branch closures, but for a lot of people who are not confident with the internet/phone transactions and who largely use cash to pay for things, this will be a blow. All very well saying they need to move with the times, but for many of them that would be a huge step and a source of great stress.

Tressilliana said...

It's going to take a lot more than ten minutes even by car, let alone by public transport, to get to another Nationwide branch. Tne most convenient for most of us would probably be Bromley.

Tim said...

Tresilliana, a bank is a profit making beast, just like any other company. They have no obligation to Look after minorities. The sooner people realise this, and stop thinking the government and banking industry owes them a living, the better.

Tressilliana said...

The Nationwide Building Society is not a bank, actually. It is a mutual organisation owned by its members, of whom I am one.

But even if it were to be a bank, I would like to think that it had some sense of social responsibility to the more vulnerable members of society who are far more likely to be using a branch than the more affluent and better educated customers. Washing their hands of these customers and telling them to get on a bus and go to Eltham or Bromley instead of the local branch they've used all their lives strikes me as a bit harsh.

Anonymous said...

Well since they were bailed out by us perhaps they do. Banks are not an optional service, goverments regulate all sorts of bussineses where there is a public interest. BA does not set it's own safety standards, the water industry is not allowed to not supply water to 'unprofitable' areas. Banks will hopefully be told to increase the reserves they keep so that the little old lady, you and me will not have to get them out of the poo. If they were a 'normal' bussiness they would have been allowed to fail, they are not so they were supported.

Closing branches is not the same thing exactly but a bit of outrage is appropriate. It's not about being 'owed' anything, it's the banking industry providing the service it's useres want rather than telling us.

Headhunter said...

Gotta say I can't remember the last time I actually entered a bank. I pay as often as possible by credit cards to get cash back, free air miles, Nectar pionts etc etc awarded and only really use the bank near work for the cash machine. I pay bills over the internet. In fact these days I do most of my shopping on the internet. It's just so much easier and often cheaper...

Anonymous said...

I just use the bank by work, or drive to Lewisham for HSBC. There you go, problem solved, on with the next thread please.

Matt-Z said...

It's odd that so many SE London branches are to close at once. You;d think they'd keep Lewisham for a while, for example, to see if the customers from the other branches gravitated towards it.

aunty kate said...

When I came to Brockley (1983) there was a Nat West next to Haworth Timber and a Midland, now a showroom for Sid's. Branches are all about providing customer service, which in most industries is recognised as a necessary cost to offset against sales. What makes them think a branch should make a profit? It is there to allow people to deposit and withdraw their money. The same money they use to lend out at profitable interest rates.

drakefell debaser said...

Those that can't / won't use online banking should vote with their feet and switch to a bank or building society closer to home.

There are several alternatives in Lewisham to do this.

Headhunter said...

Anon 10:10 highlights the problem with closing local banks, namely that people who are unable for whatever reason to do their banking online simply jump in their cars and drive to Lewisham for banking, adding to traffic and parking problems...

Anonymous said...

Not everybody has access or even know how to use a computer,its alright for people who use them at work,when they can do there online banking and shopping instead of working.

Headhunter said...

True but for the vast majority of people, computer access is normal. Even my parents who are almost 70 use computers on a daily basis. I think the days of people arguing that they can't use a computer are gone. It's like saying you still wash your clothes in a stream by beating them with a rock because I can't understand dem new fangled washing machines....

Matt-Z said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/8018203/Elderly-living-alone-use-internet-to-keep-in-touch-with-family.html

Can't find a better link to this Age UK survey data, but millions of people are without the internet, especially the elderly. Of course this will change with time, but not overnight.

Anonymous said...

Why not use the local bookmakers as your bank.
You can put in money and get very high rates of interest if you bet on the right horse.
If only those lefties were not always trying to stop them opening ...

Headhunter said...

But in London and most major towns and even rural areas, internet access is pretty widespread. My sister lives in a village in Bedfordshire and she has the same internet access as I do. My mum is always playing around with her i-Touch, if she hasn't got her reading glasses she squints down her nose at it... I helped her create a Facebook account but I don't think she really uses it much... There's not many people left who can really argue that they don't use the net because they don't have access. These days it's mainly down to an unfounded fear of computers or because they can't be bothered to learn how to use one.

Anonymous said...

HH, I think you live in different world. how many 70+ plus individuals are internet savvy? I suspect your being optomistic. I'm actually not sure it's a big deal, people WILL move their accounts if Nationwide make it easy for them, they owe them that much. By 'them' I mean the architypal granny. It's the attitude that banks are a luxury or somehow optional, they're not. They are as important as utilities, what happened to the plan to turn Post Offcies into a 'peoples bank' so they can provide a service where the comercial banks fear to tread?

Troll Police said...

If only those lefties were not always trying to stop them opening ...

It's about taste, not politics.

Now stop trolling.

tracy said...

The nearest Nationwides wil be in Eltham or Bromley or even Croydon. If anyone can get there in 10 minutes good luck to them. It is galling as we have just opened an account for our son to teach him the value of saving and this losses a lot now he cannot get into the branch and actually hand over the money himself.

Anonymous said...

Natiowide is not a bank it is a mutual still however they still justify the decision in terms of profits!

Brockley Nick said...

Given that Nationwide make great virtue of their mutual status and the fact that they don't have to keep the shareholders happy, it would be interesting to know the ways in which they feel they offer a better deal to their customers compared with banks. Because it certainly isn't via their interest rates.

Lou Baker said...

Can I also query about local post offices. Obviously I try to avoid them where possible as they are almost all grotty, infested holes where people have been known to die while waiting in a never ending queue.

But on those occasions when I have to go to one, which is best? Since the one in Nunhead closed this part of Telegraph Hill is devoid of one. And unless I can pluck up the courage to wander down to the New Cross murder mile to visit the wrist-slittingly bad one there, the choice seems limited.

Is there anywhere decent that's close by?

GetBackToWork said...

This site is a prime example.I bet most people who are posting here are at work.

Headhunter said...

Anon 11:45 - I think it's enormously condescending to assume that the majority of over 70s are not internet savvy. Is it all a bit too much for grey haired grannies to take in?! The only thing holding back 70 year olds might be that they need glasses to read a computer screen but they're not idiots and can learn to use the net as easily as the next person....

Tressilliana said...

My mum is in her mid-70s and couldn't use the computer for internet banking to save her life. My dad is more internet savvy but still prefers to walk along to his local bank branch to get money out - he never uses a cashpoint machine. Some may argue that my parents and others like them are dinosaurs who need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the real world. I would say that non-internet users are going to get fewer and fewer as the years go on because to younger people life without the internet is scarcely more imaginable than life without oxygen, so why can't we cut the oldies a bit of slack now? And for the younger people, training, easy access to computers in places like libraries.... oh hang on, there won't be any libraries. Well, that's them doomed.

max said...

There are plenty of pensioners that can only perform banking operations with the help of a person they see in the flesh.
My mum is for example one such person, she has a computer, can make basic use of it but with pain, she gets utterly confused most of time when in front of a screen.

Anonymous said...

The best post office is Blackheath.

I'm computer savvy, but refuse to use internet banking.

Tamsin said...

The other banking issue that is creeping in with no-one noticing and which will have a severe effect on the elderly and non-computer savvy is the weeding out of cheques.

So either computer banking or wads of cash - both of which are outside the comfort zone of quite a swathe of the community.

It will also affect small traders of the type who frequent craft fairs and the temporary Chistmas Cards for Charity sales that I am involved with. The cost and incovenience of setting up to take plastic is not worth it. But we can't really tell people "cash only" - especially if we want them to spend more than fifty quid or so. And what about PTAs and organisation of school trips, etc.?

Barclays are no longer going to guarantee cheques from the summer - which means that shops will stop taking them. A very big step along the way to chip and pin with everything which - despite the publicity from the banks - is NOT secure.

Anonymous said...

True Tressilliana,those who have said use the Libraries may have had there comment shot out of the water.

Headhunter said...

Oh well, clearly I'm wrong and the over 70s are idiots and unable to use computers. Unfortunately though, as Tressilliana mentions, the non internet savvy population is going to get smaller and smaller and facilities for these people will get fewer and fewer as they become less and less economical.... A privately run bank is unlikely to keep branches open that only get used by a handful of pensioners every now and then...

mb said...

Good to see Lou championing the cause of the dispossed as always.

max said...

It may mean that someone will decide to welcome all of those customers by providing them with the service they require. Nationwide loss can be someone else's gain.

Anonymous said...

HH, no I'm not saying that. I'm saying that a large number of 70+ peeps would not be comfortable with internet banking - even assuming they can cope with IT issues as and when they arise. Is that a complex thought for you?

Tressilliana said...

I'm not saying the over 70s are idiots either! That's the last generation that didn't routinely use computers at work. That makes a huge difference.

Ed said...

I imagine we had similar problems when we moved from a bartering economy onto currency...

Not sure I see the distinction between paper and electronic promises either. This is a side effect of progress and can cheques not be posted?

Headhunter said...

Not comfortable or intellectually unable to use the internet, it makes no difference. It's inevitable that banks will close facilities if they are relatively unused. Of course ultimately there will only be a handful of banks in the local area, for example the HSBC in Catford, Barclays and Lloyds in Lewisham etc which will take all cutomers who feel the need to actually walk into a bank and actually deal with another person when they pay their gas bill. However this customer base is shrinking and there are inevitably going to be fewer and fewer bank branches around.

The flip side of course is that this goes against the push for localised facilities and the need to get people out of their cars and walking to a local high street for banking, shopping etc etc.

Anonymous said...

bartering to money took a lot longer than what, ten years?

Brockley Nick said...

@HH it's dangerous to make policy based on the experience of you and your parents.

1 in 4 adults in the UK has never used the internet. One third of UK households don't have the internet.

49% of those households are in the lowest socio economic groups (DE).

Source: http://bit.ly/2mSp8B

thisisengland said...

The pre-Roman Britons used coins. How far back are we going? A system thats worked for over 2000 years can't be abandoned in a few years. Anyway whats going to happen when the electricity dies, and batteries have their energy sucked from them by a nuclear explosion? Time to dig out the catapult I think.

Anonymous said...

A lot of shops and businesses still drop there days takings off at the Banks.wouldn't be surprised if the supermarkets start banking in a major way,so there will be even fewer branches,ultimately killing off a lot of branches just like they have done by selling cheap booze,and helping the closure of many pubs.

Lou Baker said...

@nick

Yes, but you can prove anything with statistics.

In 2010, 9.2 million adults had never used the internet.

Down from 10.2 million in 2009.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/iahi0810.pdf

So the 'internet-less' population appears to be shrinking rapidly and will be all but negligible before long.

@tamsin

The Payments Council has suggested getting rid of cheques by 2018 - so alternatives have to be adopted pretty soon.

If you run a stall, even at a fete, and don't take cards you're a nutter. So many people don't carry cash anymore and taking cards is so easy. Any business - however small - that's resisted the move to plastic payment is clearly not sensible.

max said...

Only that to take cards means extra work and people may not have the time to go through all that.
I wouldn't stretch it to call "a nutter" someone asking to pay at a fete using cards but sensible people surely go to a fete carrying some cash.

Brockley Nick said...

"Taking cards" is not only about the hassle, the credit card companies also charge a significant commission.

THNick said...

Lou - so all we have to do is wait 10 years with these people unable to bank and we'll be ok? And it's a pain for even us net-savvt types when it is necessary to go into a branch, for example to prove your identity when opening an account.

It's a bizarre step from nationwide - I'm assuming some of the branches weren't busy enough to justify their existence, but closing an entire 1/4 of London? Good news for HSBC/Lloyds etc.

Anonymous said...

The fewer bank branches, building society branches and estate agents on any high street the better in my view. The real problem is that it will probably become another bookies, (a real blight) when what Lewisham really needs is a well run Burger King.
As to those pining for a bank at Brockley Cross, get right back to the 1930's in that time machine. The little parade just doesn't have the foot fall.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I can remember (just about) the Midland next to the Venue in New Cross and the Barclays on Lewisham Way just along from Meze Mangal (and the container), which is now flats.

abw said...

some one asked me for a cheque today and i realised i hadnt used one for about 9 yrs.had to hunt for the book. utilities bills are mostly paid by direct debit. tv license, cable tv, insurance, council tax, mobile phone contract all paid via direct debit. shopping - debit/credit card. You will wait a long time to see anyone use a cheque in the supermarket. need cash? - cashpoint/cashback. anything else use the post office. There is one in crofton park and in whs lewisham. (although it was a crime to shut the lewisham one) and the Catford one is fast and efficient so no Qs. All else fails there is telephone banking.
BTW the same goes for my 70+ parents (one of whom is blind) and they dont use a computer. If they are stuck me or my siblings help them out. a few branches shutting is a sign of how little time we now spend in those buildings. Move on.

max said...

I can't think of a time when I've gone to the bank and I didn't have to queue actually, and this makes me think that there is a demand and the reason to close them may be of some other nature.

thisisengland said...

I've just returned from the TSB/Lloyds in Lewisham. Had to queue for 20 mins., the queue was out the door as usual. 2 staff dealing with a separate queue of people who needed to speak to someone with a worry or a query, 3 cashiers dealing with the rest of us. The TSB and Barclays are always packed, usually with people younger than me, and often obviously not from these shores.

So why aren't they all sitting at a computer? Because the computer says 'no'.

Anonymous said...

Question, without divulging too much TIE, what was the purpose of your visit to the bank today?

Lou Baker said...

@nick

1) Taking cards is not hassle - at least not compared with taking cheques.

2) Card companies do charge a fee, but then so do banks for business accounts.

So your point is?

Anyone with a smart phone can arrange card payments. You don't even need a chip and pin machine anymore.

Tamsin said...

Cards for Good Causes in Greenwich sets up its stall in a church with lousy mobile reception. We would have to pay for a dedicated phone line, and the machine, and the commission etc. if we were to take cards. Not worth it for seven weeks in a year. But we do want to be able to take cheques from those who buy a lot of cards in one go or who have come out with not enough cash. It will be interesting to see what the guidelines become now some are no longer guaranteed.

Likewise the Telegraph Hill Festival - we are moving over to on-line ticket sales for most events this year (at a 10% charge to the punter) but again setting up the facility to take cards does not make economic or logistical sense.

Even more so once you are into the school outing/PTA game. When my children were in junior school I actually bought a pack of small envelopes for the number to times I had to send in a cheque for £5 or £10 or whatever. And no way would I want to pay by using chip and pin or, on the other side, take money that way.

Sorry I can't give the reference off hand, but chip 'n' pin is not particularly secure - the reports that say it is have been commissioned by the banks.

Tressilliana said...

I keep all those little envelopes that come with junk mail for that purpose, Tamsin. Cross out printed address, write on intended recipient. 99% of the cheques I've written in the last 15 years must have been to schools, chess clubs or music teachers. When the offspring move on, the cheque book will finally start gathering dust.

thisisengland said...

I visited the TSB to pay some cash into someone's account, it needed to happen today, if I paid cash over the counter before 4pm it'd be credited to the other account today. As opposed to 4 working days. I realise 4 working days isn't necessarily the snails pace at which banks always work, but the TSB seems pedantic in its slavish following of that arcane rule.

I needed to be sure the cash went to the other persons a/c today.

Incidentally, the Lloyds TSB in Blackheath is usually empty.

Tamsin said...

Mine have moved on. I even pay the pocket money by standing order. (Double whammy - "Can I have a bit of cash to go to the tuck shop...?", although to be fair the shoe is often on the other foot and I borrow a bit of cash from them.)

Headhunter said...

I think chip and PIN for all its faults, is more secure than the old system of signing on the dotted line. Towards the end, cashiers in shops wouldn't even bother checking the sig on the back of the card...

I lived in France briefly in 1994ish, they've had chip and PIN there since the 80s I think and they couldn't believe that could buy something with a mere signature! More than once my card was refused purely because they refused to accept non chip and PIN and wouldn't rely on a signature...

Anonymous said...

@ thisisengland Banks have signed up for online same day clearance. Last month i paid money by bank transfer - online - it was in the recipiants account 30 mins later. Barclays to HSBC. Dont have to do in a building. do it with ur feet up.

solutionsnotmoaning said...

@Tamsin ask the school for a sort code and account# bank transfer - ONLINE. Simples!

Miss L said...

Nick, thanks for pointing out the socio-economic statistics of internet use. I work with a vulnerable client group (poor/disadvantaged in several ways) and of our 80 or so members, probably 10% have an email address and even those don't all have internet at home.

So it's not just older people who don't have internet access or skills. Especially in an area like SE London, I bet the percentage of people without internet access is quite high.

Tamsin said...

@ solutionsnotmoaning Personal question but do you have children? One can write a cheque and sign a form in the thirty seconds you have between being told that the reply was needed two days ago the child going out of the door at a run - then job done. The on-line option is less than simples!
Also, I would have thought, harder for the overworked PTA organiser. With cheques you can tick off consent form and money received at the same time. With on-line banking you would have to try to marry up all the separate receipts of £10 with the relevant response - and quite possibly the parents have failed to identify the payment properly so it is in a different name to the one the child is known by. Nightmare scenario

solutionsnotmoaning said...

@ Tamsin 4 kids actually from 2 - 14. a few high st branches close but u want them to stay open so that you can process a the odd £10 cheque and the PTA dont have a nervous breakdown - READING.

Really? :-)

Well change branch to all the other banks on our high st. There is a bank in Croton Park.

"and quite possibly the parents have failed to identify the payment properly so it is in a different name to the one the child is known by."

i just thought i would quote this again as it is a wonderful examle of finding something to moan about by inventing a fiction and then getting cross about it.

ONLINE or change ur bank. Simples!

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou "2) Card companies do charge a fee, but then so do banks for business accounts.

So your point is?"

Card companies charge a commission on every transaction. A bank business account doesn't. A few per cent can be a big disincentive for people to start taking cards. It also often takes a long time to get a card payment account and chip and pin machine set up - as the Broca Food Market's experience showed.

Perhaps that's why not everyone who runs a stall at a fete has one? Or perhaps they're all "nutters" and you're the only smart person in the world - the guy who tries to buy a mulled wine at the Christmas Fair on his Amex.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend a good decorator to hang liner paper.


Thanks

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha,

Just realised I've posted on the wrong tread! Brain has killed in yet!

Tressilliana said...

When I buy something for a very low cash value, I would expect to pay cash, especially if it's from a very small business or at a fundraising do. Every penny counts to organisations like that and paying a credit card commission might tip the balance between profit and loss. Of course, they also have to consider that not taking credit cards for many people tips the balance between buying something and deciding not to bother.

Lou Baker said...

Yeah - but that's how you miss out on business.

Plenty of people will go to craft fairs and fetes and stuff with a small amount of cash.

But then if they see something they like that's £20 they don't have enough money for it.

Which is why, if you're in business, you're mad not to take cards.

Yes there's a commission of a few percent but it's better to swallow that than to lose a sale.

Unless you're a nutter.

Tamsin said...

@solutionsnotmoaning The demise of cheques as negotiatble instruments is a different issue to branches closing so I should apologise for diverting the thread a bit. My main gripe with the loss of cheques is in relation to the impact on the elderly for whom the barriers to on-line banking have not been broken down (although lots of agencies are working on it) and who (rightly or wrongly, and in my personal view rightly) see chip 'n' pin and cash as less secure options than being able to write a cheque.

The PTA scenario requires more than being able to read. Typically mum, who has been told by child that the form needs to be in and the payment made TODAY, but who can't get online for personal matters easily at work, will complete the form, shove it in the child's hand and as soon as she can leave dad a voicemail message on the mobile saying that x amount has to be paid to yyy for zzz to do aaa. Dad makes the payment but fluffs on giving some of the necessary details to identify the child and/or activity and the PTA secretary (a volunteer working in her own time - not being feminist, most are female) has to sass out that the payment from Mr Tomkinson is actually for Johnny Bates or risk offending Johnny Bates' mum by asking for the apparently outstanding payment when she next meets her at the school gate. For some transactions cheques are simpler and the banks are withdrawing them just because they cant be bothered to process them any more. To hell with "customer" service.

Anonymous said...

How many stalls at a craft fair do you know who have a card machine,and if they go by the card number,mores than likely it isn't theres.

Anonymous said...

How many stalls at a craft fair do you know who have a card machine,and if they go by the card number,mores than likely it isn't theres.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - you think chip and pin is less secure than a chequebook?! On what possible basis?

Have you considered that statements like that actually constitute one of the biggest barriers to persuading people to convert?

Tamsin said...

I read an article on it somewhere - been trying to remember where so I can reference it for you. (Not the Daily Mail!) Bear with me while I consult a "well-known search engine" for a bit.

I agree one shouldn't scaremonger but equally one should not paint a falsely rosy picture of the Brave New World.

D said...

I think chip and pin is less secure - Whenever I'm in a queue I see someones pin number as they type it in, so presumably for a pickpocket that makes a pretty easy target?

Ed said...

Two things largely missing from the CnP discussion:

a) an appreciation of the disctinction between card present and card not present transactions;

b) facts!

Tamsin said...

Posted the reference but it disappeared. So here it is again.

I read it probably on the BBC news links last December (and it did make it to the Daily Mail - oh dear!) but this is the original press release.

Tamsin said...

Hmm... didn't work. Just cut and paste rather than be clever... (should I have cut out the "html"?)

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research/security/banking/nopin/press-release.html

Ed said...

If you have a stolen card are you more likely to be able to successfully use it if you:

a) have to forge an often small and/or smudged signature, or

b) are aware of and employ a technique developed by a Cambridge University research team?

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - but it doesn't suggest that cheques are safer. All it shows is that the Chip and Pin system is not invulnerable to fraud, if you happen to have a stolen card, high-tech equipment and the ability to insert a "wedge" device without anyone noticing. Note, it doesn't suggest that any criminals have ever pulled off this trick, just that it could be done.

Compared to cheques (which simply require a stolen cheque book and a half-decent forged signature), the system is far safer.

Scare-mongering as you have done is contributing to the problem you say you're concerned about.

Brockley Nick said...

Ed said it much better than me!

Brockley Nick said...

@Lou - yes, I'm sure you're not the only one capable of making that cost-benefit analysis. Some will think it worthwhile, others not. Amazing, huh!

thisisengland said...

Anon: I was talking about the TSB/Lloyds. They insist that payments take 4 working days unless its cash paid into a branch before 4pm and destined for another TSB acccount. And then not always...I once had an agonising phone conversation when I rang to complain they'd taken 4 days to transfer cash from a branch to a TSB account. The woman insisted cash had to be cleared the same as a cheque, and it took 4 days. I asked her where my cash had gone for 4 days and she said "into the banking ether".

They don't accept the 'faster payment' system either for settling bills. Strangely the Halifax (same organisation) do.

I'm not stupid or a dinosaur, but I just prefer dealing with people rather than machines. I don't need to save time so I can play Call of Duty.

Tamsin said...

Agreed, but the chip and pin is not as good as it is made out to be and the banks and the researchers are predictably in a game of "oh yes it is" and "oh no it's not" with the Daily Mail screaming "cover-up" on the sidelines.

So Mandy Rice Davies applies. And the government, equally predictably, are going along with the banks agenda rather than letting the new technology and acceptance of it evolve more naturally.

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - that is considerably different to your first nonsense claim.

And in any case, whoever said Chip and Pin was completely foolproof? It simply happens to be the safest system we have.

Ed said...

@Tamsin

3 DM references on this thread, all yours - I'm just saying;)

thisisengland said...

Yeah lets hear it for Dr Martens!

Tamsin said...

And (rearguard action here) until they remove the guarantee next summer cheque forgery requires stolen cheque-book AND a stolen card - and then a confidently produced signature. A blow if your whole hand-bag goes but otherwise a bit more difficult.

THNick said...

Nick - to commit cheque fraud you need the stolen cheque book, the guarantee card and the ability to fake the signature.

To commit chip and pin fraud you need the card and pin. And getting the pin is easy if you watch over someone's shoulder at a cash point, and plenty of people with poor memories (eg old people) cant remember their pin so write it down on a bit of paper in their purses.

And that's the simple route, the complicated one looks a bit like this:

THNIck said...

Hmm, I'm as bad as Tamsin at this. Anyway, link:
http://www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk/forum/read.php?5,602783,611626

Brockley Nick said...

Assuming anyone even asks to see a cheque guarantee card.

Yes, if you have chip and pin, it relies on someone taking reasonable care with their pin.

A cheque relies on someone taking reasonable care with their purse.

Tamsin said...

Well in the Cards for Good Causes temporary shop we do, and write out the number on the back, and look at the signature...

If the retailer fails to do this presumably one has a claim against them for a refund. If a duly guaranteed cheque is in fact used fraudulently the bank makes a refund. And I have heard that they in fact found it cheaper to issue the occasional compensation rather than pay staff to scrutinise.

PS - DM is nowt to do with me.

mb said...

Was going to post exactly Nick's point. All these methods rely on individuals taking reasonable care, no system is as yet fool proof. I remember paying for a meal in a restaurant with a card and signature on the slip. there were four of us, a bit drunk, we all signed the wrong slip. Only realised months later after a wallet clear out revealed the wrong receipt with my scrawled signature.

Oaksys said...

I too remember the Midland Bank (now HSBC) Branch in the building now used by Sids Plumbers Merchant. There was a good butcher and also a baker a few buildings away. Sadly the corporate approach of supermarkets/banks etc has closed these places. The large supermarkets are based on car ownership and cheap fuel. Soon that basis will change as the price of fuel soars.
The banks' closure of branches has been brought about by automation, plastic cards and internet banking. The banks would dearly like to see the disappearance of cheques and cash, to be replaced by mobile phone and smart card payments. It would of course mean the banks get their 3% of every transaction. At present banks charge businesses about 3% to handle their cash.
If people knew just how close the UK banking system came to total collapse 18 months ago they would hang on to cash as a method of payment. The developing methods of mobile phone payments will give the government a method of tracking every payment and the every move (to the nearest 10 metres) of people using the mobile phones.
I say stick with cash and the bank branch offices.

Oaksys said...

By the way for those who do not realise. The wireless technology used by the hand held portable readers for chip and pin cards is not terribly secure. It often uses unencrypted transmission to the base station in the restaurant/ cafe/ garage. There have been cases where crooks have engineered those portable chip & pin reader machines to transmit the card number and PIN to waiting accomplices.

Even the encrypted wireless technology is not exactly secure. Using the specialist processors in high end graphics cards it is possible to quickly break into encrypted wireless links.

mb said...

....and carrying a wallet full of cash only requires a smack over the head to steal. You can't cancel the cash, once it's gone, it's gone.

I never have more than £40-50 in my wallet.

Lou Baker said...

Bring on mobile payments I say.

The fewer things I have to carry around with me, the better.

As for 'big brother' knowing where you are - I don't care if he does.

All it will demonstrate is that I'm a law abiding member of society who goes about his business in a perfectly normal way.

However I can understand the whole mobile payment thing posing more of an issue if you've got something to hide.

Anonymous said...

For once, I agree with Lou.

Anonymous said...

ah... the fachistic tendancies are bubbling up.

presumably stop and search with no reason is fine, police searching your house with out reason is great, locking you up for as much time as the police deem neccesary is OK, having to prove your inocence rather than others proving your guilt is sensible. After all if you've nothing to hide....

The excuse for every despotic system (left and right) since the year dot. Once again showing your complete lack of any perspective of how the world works. A very confused young man, on one hand wanting to reduce the government to a minimum but allowing unfetered, unregulated, intrusion to your private life. weird.

Lou Baker said...

Sigh.

This country has moved well beyond the realms of despotic regimes. Of course, if you're enough of a loon, I can understand that you might not have enough faith in your fellow citizens to comprehend this.

As for being contradictory - again not true. A small government wouldn't have the means to intrude into every aspect of life and wouldn't want to. Tesco already knows what brand of toilet roll I buy - do I care if the bank or mobile company does too? Nope. Because there is no great secret that I buy bog roll sometimes.

The only reason to fear such technology is
if you've got something to hide. For the same reason I support a universal DNA database. If it stops one murder or one rape, giving up a strand of my hair will be worth it.

Ed said...

@Anon 12.47 - you do a great deal of presuming.

Broadly agree with Lou and mb's comments (and mb's example shows just how vunerable the signature system is for card present transactions).

solutionsnotmoaning said...

@Tamsin
Debit Card spending in UK overtakes cash for the first time
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11901953
This is a simple case of supply and demand. The fact is that banks in this instance are (omg i cant believe i am about to say this) are right. The use of cheques have reduced rapidly since the intro of cards. The People have spoken.(although alternatives are being talked about)

I am not sure how it is safer to leave your signature all over the place for easy copying. 4 numbers in your head strikes me as safer (if u dont cover ur pin up that is your look out. Its your money.
Its not green to produce mountains of paper cheque books.
Its slow to process because of the ammount of people that have to be involved. Thats why business accounts charge for cheques but are free if u use BACS (u must be swallowing that cost)
It makes it too easy to run up debts (cheque guaranteee card doesnt mean u have the money in the bank). Chip and Pin instantly checks.
As to your business - Most small competitive businesses have them. However i use a butchers in nunhead who doesnt take cards. I always take cash or he directs customers to the nearest cash point if not. Its quality stuff so customers ALWAYS return to pay.
Kids school - as its only £5 and £10 u talk about put CASH in u envelopes. Unless u dont trust all involved.

Simples!

Tamsin said...

Yes, so let the use of cheques die out naturally - don't hassle the elderly into having to give them up before they are comfortable doing so.

Also useful to keep an alternative functioning for when the technology fails. Buying with a card in the rush before Christmas once the shop-keeper and I were waiting for ages for the connection to be made because the systems were so busy, and not everywhere has good enough reception for mobile phone connectivity - certainly for a sustained transaction that should not be interrupted.

thisisengland said...

I'm with anon 12.47. The hoary old chestnut of 'if you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear' is rubbish. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

YourFlexibleFriend said...

Why not just do away with cash all together.

YourFlexibleFriend said...

Why not just do away with cash all together.

Anonymous said...

Of course our enlightened government would never contract out the torture of it's citizens to other despots... a kind of PFI outsourcing arangement.

Oh, hang on....

Anonymous said...

Closing branches is not about making a profit but making MORE profit.

Banks they will tell customers more people use online banking and fewer got to branches...mmmm.

In Lewisham Lloyds TSB regularly has long queues that end outside the bank.

Barclay's has two branches next to each other, one was for the working class one for buisness.

To cut down queues the buisness branch was opened up to the workers.

Bosses of banks have more influence over our lives than elected politicians and that is dangerous for us and them.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I worked on a 'yoof' programme where Janet Street Porter allowed a 'cloned' copy of her bank card to be used live on-air to extract money from an ATM.

The bank didn't acknowledge it was possible, told Janet she was naughty and closed her account.

Banks don't like whistleblowers?

Anonymous said...

Not long ago I enquired about how cheques are processed it seems they are digitally scanned so no bits of paper flying around.

It would seem no or very few checks are carried on signatures.

Like dodgy traders on Watchdog who refuse to answer questions bank bosses don't do interviews and cocooned from the world by lackey's and bonuses.

Headhunter said...

I did work experience at a Nat West bank back in the 80s when I was at High School and one of the menial tasks I was given to do every morning was to check cheques of, I think, over £200 in value. I had to sift through piles and piles of cheques every morning and pick out the £200+ ones, give them the once over to see if everything was filled in properly and that was about it. The majority of cheques were not verified in any way, they were just sent for payment...

Unfortunately banks are private enterprises and private enterprises are in business to make as large a profit as possible. Of course there are social restraints imposed on them but unless the government steps in and demands that banks keep cheques and keep local branches open, banks, like every other private enterprise are going to seek to reduce costs where they can.

Perhaps there's a gap in the market for someone to set up a local banking firm for SE London which has branches on every minor high street such as Brockley Rd and has cheques manually verified etc. Of course current accounts at a bank like this would probably charge and annual fee and pay zero interest, but if people want to be able to write a cheque and actually walk into a bank to pay their council tax then they can pay for that facility.

Personally, I would prefer free banking and the ability to manage my money online.

Tamsin said...

But you don't need to manually verify cheques - just keep the system of the banks paying out if there is an obvious fraud (as part of the service since it is their choice not to train monkeys to look at every scrap of paper). And I would expect that is not a huge drain on their resources (a small dent in their massive profits) since cheques for large (£500+) transactions are virtually moribund and it is not worth committing small frauds for less than £100. It is a system that has worked hitherto.

Where the fraud is by the rightful owner of the chequebook, i.e. the cheque bounces for lack of funds, that is the look-out of the retailer or supplier of services, but a bounced cheque is a sure-fire winner when it comes to a small claims court action. Although it would be nice for the banks to show that they do care just a little bit for the little people in this world by leaving in place the cheque guarantee system, capped at, say, £100 since below that amount it is not worth the defrauded individual or small business taking any court action and all the bank has to do is put the fraudster into unauthorised overdraft and charge through the nose for it.

(BTW - with apposite timing my son collared me this morning with a slip to sign and urgent request for a cheque for £60 - more than I would have been able to supply him in immediate cash. Sign form and actually (for once) remember where my cheque book had been put - job done. Not until he had gone did I get round to looking in detail at what I was signing for!)

thisisengland said...

The Nationwide, which was the focus of this thread, isn't a private enterprise. It's a mutual building society.

Unknown said...

This Town is coming like a Ghost town all the banks are being closed down.

Bored and tired said...

Chip and pin might be relatively secure but nobody seems to have mentioned (unless I skimmed over it) the fact that you don't need your chip and pin to buy something
online/over the phone. The info you give that nice man on the phone is all he needs to go and buy something lovely for his girlfriend. Only tonight I have had to cut up my card. I am always extremely cautious when typing in my pin but whoever tried to pay £120 to UPS today wasn't using my pin. Luckily the bank (first direct) was straight onto it. The transaction was attempted at 4.45pm and they called me at 4.55pm to check.

Tamsin said...

Why I tend to use the credit card over the phone and on-line. There is an extra cushion of security before the bank account is emptied and Barclaycard at least are usually pretty hot onto any unexpected transactions.

thisisengland said...

I could tell you about the reaction from Amex when I made a small purchase at the Catford Gun Shop. Anyone remember that shop on the corner?

Tamsin said...

Do tell us more - that must have been a hoot. Yes I well remember the shop from the outside. It disappeared almost overnight otherwise I would have gone in for a prowl around just out of curiosity.

Tom said...

The issue got picked up in the Telegraph this week

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/building-societies/8303917/Nationwide-turns-its-back-on-the-little-people.html

Ken Nationwide member said...

I have written to Nationwide about the South East London branch closures. They have sent me a helpful "List of the 16 branches we will continue to operate in the South East London area."
Balham, Beckenham, Bexleyheath, Brixton, Bromley, Clapham Common, Clapham Junction, Dartford, Eltham SE9, Gravesend, Longfield, Orpington, Petts Wood, Sidcup, Streatham, Wandsworth.
Handy for those in Brockley?
And how far does the South East London area stretch?

Robert said...

Banks are private enterprises and private enterprises are in business to make as large a profit as possible. The shareholders wouldn't want it any other way.

thisisengland said...

The Nationwide is a mutual building society owned by its members.

max said...

Amazing how Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life is as relevent today as it was then, looks like we haven't moved on at all.

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