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We need a high street we can really bank on

PUBLISHED: 10:18 15 October 2017

High Street, Sheringham. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

High Street, Sheringham. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Santander in Cromer had closed its doors for the last time.

The branch was axed after a study showed that just 8pc of its customers used only the branch to do their banking.

With the rise of internet banking the disappearance of the high street bank is becoming all too familiar.

I’ve never been one for internet banking and whilst I can see how it is easier and more convenient for many, I’m more concerned about the few, the 8pc, that are unable (or unwilling in my case) to use this facility.

I’m even more concerned about how this reflects on us as a society.

In an age that’s supposed to be faster and more connected, it seems that we’re becoming more and more disconnected.

With the rise of social media we’re becoming more and more unsocial.

We no longer congratulate our friends in person on their engagement or promotion at work; we simply “like” their status update and, evidently, we no longer make the effort to visit our local bank either, opting for a click and a swipe instead on devices that have become permanently glued to our hands.

I can, of course, see the benefits of internet banking and social media.

For people who have difficulties getting out of the house for example, the technology must be a godsend and I myself love that social media enables me to keep in contact with friends across the world.

But the fact that we are becoming so reliant on the internet and technology that it is changing the very foundations of our high streets scares me a little.

Are high street bank closures merely a sign of what’s to come? Will we be relying on internet doctors next rather than visiting our local GPs? Internet lawyers? Accountants?

Do we really want to live in a society so dependent on the internet and technology that our high streets become a bleak empty shell of what they were?

I think we can all make more of an effort to ensure the amazing services in our towns and villages don’t go to waste.

I myself will continue visiting my local bank.

So next time you wonder about doing something online, opt for the “old-fashioned” alternative if you like.

Pop into town, speak to someone face to face and let’s save our high streets!

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