Well, according to the actions of a couple of major financial institutions you’d think it was there’s.

The Daily Mail today reports that the Alliance and Leicester, now owned by the Spanish banking giant Santander will, as from July, stop in-branch withdrawals of less than £300 in a single transaction for those with basic accounts. Those with other accounts will have a minimum limit of a £30 withdrawal.

This comes on the heels of a decision by the Nationwide to limit withdrawals over the counter to a minimum of £100 for their basic account holders.

This is seen as a move to force people out of the branches and into the lobbies and street to use the ATMs or where applicable the Post Office where they can transact these smaller withdrawals.

The branches can then focus more on selling financial services to those that do come in rather than offering a good basic banking service.

But many people who withdraw these small amounts are pensioners who like the security of conducting their business within the relative safety of a bank. That way they do not fear muggings or the prying eyes of strangers over their shoulder.

It could mean many moving their accounts to other institutions offering a better service for them. But once again many pensioners may not want the added hassle of going through this exercise.

In this high pressure profit driven banking system we may start seeing all the other banks following suit. After all, they may not want to be the last one left holding all the very small high cost no profit accounts.

We already have a private banking system for the rich, now maybe we are seeing the beginning of a system for the moderately well off and those at the bottom gradually being squeezed out of ordinary banks altogether.

Without access to a bank how are the less well off such as pensioners meant to run their lives in the modern economic system where their money has to be deposited electronically into a bank?

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