Unite, the country’s largest union, has described the announcement today (Thursday 26 March) that the Business Secretary, Vince Cable has effectively given the green light to UK banks to close thousands of local bank branches, as a “betrayal of grannies and grandpa’s” across the country.
The news of a deal with the British Bankers Association has been met with anger by the union. Unite which represents staff across the banking industry is furious that the deal essentially endorses the branch closure programmes of the banks.
Rob MacGregor Unite national officer said: “The Business Secretary, Vince Cable has today rubber stamped the social exclusion of grannies, grandpa’s, the disabled and many others across remote rural communities. This deal allows British banks to completely ignore their corporate social responsibilities to ensure access to local banking services.
“Unite knows that the local bank branch staff are often the only source of trusted and valued financial advice for many people. This deal by the government, to look the other way as hundreds of branches are closed each year, has huge economic implications for local communities as the drift of economic activity moves away once the local bank branch shuts down.
“The attempt to pretend that local communities will be consulted before a bank branch is closed is insulting. Thousands of bank customers no longer have access to local banking because decisions have been made purely on profit calculations, over genuine access needs.”
Unite does not deny that retail banking is evolving as technological changes drive new delivery channels for customers, but these digital methods of banking are not appropriate for all and is no justification for an aggressive branch closure programme.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Saba Edwards on: 07768 693 953.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.