Old school banking is on the way out. With the advent of banking, touch free payment and digital currencies like bitcoin, it won’t be too long before High Street banks are a thing of the past. Here are just 10 of the things that we won’t miss about them…
1. Long lines
5 minutes feels like an hour when you’re queuing at the bank. Standing among a long line of people who, like you, don’t really want to be there, your misery only intensifies as the toddler behind you ramps up his tantrum. By the time you reach the front of the queue, you’ve heard so much of Stacy-at-the-back’s phone conversation that you’re beginning to believe that she did deserve that slap in the club last night.
2. Anti-social opening hours
Most bank are open Monday-Friday from 9-5, which just so happens to be the time that anyone who earns any money is at work. This means rushing across town on your lunch break and standing in a 30-minute line with 100 other customers just to cash Grandma’s £20 birthday cheque. With hardly any banks open on Sundays, and for only a few hours on Saturday morning, there goes your weekend lie in.
3. Switching branches
Because trekking from North-West London to the South-East of the city while waiting for your bank to register a new address will take up your whole day.
4. All the forms
Want to put money into your account? “Fill out this form”. Taking money out? “Just hold on while we fill out this form for you, then you can fill this form in too”. Argh!
5. Awful interest rates
If you’ve manage to scrimp and save up some money – well done! But you may as well not bother keeping it in the bank. For the past few years High Street Banks’ savings rates have been abysmal – often not even beating the rate of inflation. You could be better off keeping your cash under the mattress…
6. Hidden charges
Banks are experts at hiding all the little extra charges that you don’t even realise you’re paying. We all know about the 0% commission myth, but then there are your overdraft charges, credit card charges, administrative fees, currency transaction charges and a plethora of others.
7. Paper statements
It’s safe to say that no one enjoys receiving a paper statement from their bank. There it is, in black and white, all your debt, your impulse purchases and, oh yes, your personal details. You can’t simply throw it out for fear an identity thief may be looting through your bins. So, every month is a case of; receive bank statement, read bank statement, hate bank statement, shred bank statement.
8. Constant up-selling
Make no mistake, banks are after your money – as much of it as they can get. If you pop in to make a quick deposit, you’d be lucky to get away without hearing a spiel about their latest ‘amazing’ credit card deal or a ‘can’t miss’ mortgage rate.
9. The paranoia
There’s nothing like a trip to the bank to make you feel desperately poor and simultaneously afraid that all the other customers are plotting to steal your money. Scoping out the other people in the queue you decide that they’re all definitely depositing thousands of pounds while you are there to make (yet another) withdrawal. You then lower your voice when you reach the teller, just in case any eavesdroppers are planning to rob you.
10. The eerie silence
When was the last time you heard music in a bank? Exactly. With the exception of screaming children, irate customers and mouthy tellers, banks are some of the most eerily quiet places on the High Street. All the better to worry about eavesdroppers, and listen to the seconds of your life tick by slowly.