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Has the branch manager actually disappeared?

You don’t need me to tell you that the banks have had a lot of bad press over the last few years. You would have thought that they would have learnt from the experience, and therefore gone the extra mile to ensure that they treated their customers with respect and care.

If only it was that simple.

We decided to do a quick test to see how they treated their customers. A few weeks ago, we wrote about how it was becoming impossible to speak to a human, and not be put through to a call centre or to an automated answering machine. We decided to see if we could get the number for our local branch. Nothing too unreasonable – and something that we all might want to do from time to time, be it to arrange to go and speak about opening an account, getting a mortgage or for opening and closing times. So we went online to get the number of our local branches for the main banks nearby.

Here is what we found:


Okay, so admittedly our experiment is not the most scientific (I’m sure Santander have a central number to call their “branch”, it just wasn’t on their branch finder tool). And these days not all services need you to go through local branches. But surely if a bank wants to reach out to its customers, and build a relationship with them, then giving them someone to speak to who isn’t in a call centre might be a good start.

It’s clear that the bank manager definitely has disappeared. Luckily ASC are still here.

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