Helston’s last bank, Lloyds, is due to close its doors forever on January 24, 2023. May it ‘Rest in Peace’, buried alongside the graves of Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Santander, banks which have all passed away within recent years.

I will miss Lloyds in Helston and the staff there, who over nearly 50 years have, with courtesy and friendly faces, been there to help me with my banking needs.

Come January the earthly bricks and mortar bank will be no more and we are told that we must look upwards to the shining star of ‘online banking’. Many older people do not want to do internet banking, many are unable to do it.

Picture this, an elderly person with no broadband, no smart phone. Such people do exist. What are they to do? You can’t do everything by telephone banking or at the Post Office.

Current changes in banking are producing stress for the elderly (and some others), forcing them towards the dangers of hackers and scammers on the internet, denying them easy access to the reassurance that comes with face-to-face human contact unless they make arduous journeys – possibly on infrequent buses. (For example, The Lizard to Falmouth or Camborne bus takes two and a half hours to travel the 29 miles). No wonder the news is full of stories about people who are stressed and cannot cope.

At this festive season, I have been reading Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, where Scrooge, who when told that the poor did not want to go to the workhouses and many would rather die than do so, replied, ‘If they would rather die…they had better do it and decrease the surplus population’.

I get the feeling that our ‘Banking Chiefs’ think elderly people who do not want to do online banking are a similar ‘nuisance’ and are just waiting for them to die and decrease the surplus population of, in their eyes, ‘awkward customers’ who don’t, won’t or can’t do things their way.

Mrs E Goodfellow