Banks still need all the good PR they can get after 2008 crash – leader comment

Scots saving less than a decade ago.
Scots saving less than a decade ago.
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It seems clear the world is heading towards a future in which physical coins and notes are replaced by virtual ones in a commercial revolution potentially as profound as the switch from barter to currency.

However, we are not there yet and cash is still vitally important for many people in Scotland. While withdrawals from ATMs have fallen by 3.3 per cent, this is less than half the rate in the south-east of England.

So it is alarming that Scotland has seen one of the highest rates of bank branch closures – with 339 shutting their doors in just four years – and the loss of a further 290 cash machines.

READ MORE: Poorest and older people hit hardest by ‘cashless society’ move

This discrepancy and the problem in general appears to have been spotted by our politicians with talk of measures to protect the ATM network.

But surely it’s not too much to ask that banks consider the needs of their customers before scrapping a service that Scottish business minister Jamie Hepburn described as a “life-line” to communities and small businesses, particularly in rural areas.

After all, we are still suffering the effects of the 2008 crash and banks need all the good PR they can get.

READ MORE: Helen Martin: Cashless economy could turn banks into Big Brother