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Do banks give a good service?

The question

Barclays bank closures mean the banking sector has not been popular in the last week. Do you think the banks provide a good service?

I hate banks. Look anywhere in the world where people are being exploited and banks will be there. Look anywhere where the natural world is being destroyed and the banks will be there. Look anywhere where warlords are warring and banks will be there. No banker has any interest but self interest at heart.

Jim Towers, 48, transportation engineer, Stirling

Banks do provide good access to banking services as long as one is middle class with good communication skills, the right communication equipment and money in the bank. However, they rely on one's reluctance to change banks. Perhaps it is time we did!

Philip Norris, management consultant, Burton-on-Trent

I recently changed my bank, which gave me access toe-banking facilities. Hole in the wall cash withdrawal was always useful. The addition of deposit, mini statements and bill payment facilities made it much better. But the advent of 24-hour home telebanking and internet facilities makes it very convenient. Service is now exceptional, particularly if you travel a lot and keep odd hours.

Ian Jenkinson, technical and amenity services, Newcastle-under-Lyme

Poor pay, difficulty in making ends meet and/or running a small company can quickly make you paranoid about banks. I've been with the same bank since my teens. There has been no incentive to change as all the high street variety have offered exactly the same 'service'. I might be interested in transferring to an internet bank if I could figure out how to crawl and beg.

Malcolm McKemey, 50, director, Sussex

Having lived outside the UK for several years, I do not have daily dealings with UK banks. Dealing with them occasionally by fax/letter, I find the service is still generally good and helpful at my main bank where I have an 'account manager' who will sort out any problems for me. The biggest disappointment relates to service centres which are a bureaucratic nightmare.

George Tedbury, 55, director, Hong Kong

I have banked with First Direct, a telephone banking arm of HSBC for the past 14 years. It is simply great. I have yet to find a problem or financial service requirement that I could not sort out over the phone. I previously banked with Lloyds for seven years. I gave it up when it started charging for being a day overdrawn and when I wanted to discuss it with the manager it produced a 17 year old. In hindsight, I am very glad it did.

Andrew Powell, 36, section engineer, Manchester

The banks are relying on a monopoly situation in that if they all act against the customer's best interest, the customer will have nowhere else to go for better treatment. They can then all reward themselves for grouping together at their customers' expense, with huge pay settlements. Why don't we do this?

Sarah Sinclair, 32, consulting engineer, Sussex

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