I’M glad your reader Jim Taylor is enjoying his banking experience (Letters, January 24). Mine isn’t quite so jolly.

I wrote to my local branch of RBS more than a year ago about poor service. The branch had been revamped and the number of tellers reduced from four to two. Whatever the time of day, the queues were up to 15 minutes long, as it seemed two tellers were expected to do everything and there was no-one else around to help.

I don’t go to the branch that often but sometimes I have a cheque to pay in and I have one regular transaction that I need cash for, and the cash includes a five pound note. RBS cash machines don’t do fivers. Local shops rightly get narked at customers handing over large-denomination notes and asking for fivers in their change.

Give the man his due, the manager phoned me. He wasn’t impressed by my suggestion the branch should put in chairs or even set up a queuing system. But he assured me the bank was going to introduce cash machines that dispense fivers.

A year later, some of the same problems remain and some are worse:

  • Closures: two branches of RBS have shut. I’d call them branches “nearby” but only if you think 20 minutes away by car is “nearby”. That means a couple of things: it is inconvenient for customers who would like to bank in places like Newton Mearns or Barrhead, but it’s also a total pain in the arse for those of us who use our local branch because there are now extra customers waiting to be served. At least last Monday I noted a third teller was on duty and that’s very welcome, but I still had to stand for 15 minutes.
  • Queues: Okay if you’re well and young and able to stand for a while, but not so good for me. Last week there were a few chairs dotted around (as I’d suggested to the manager a year before), but nowhere near the queuing point. I’ve now suggested in a “customer satisfaction survey” that RBS should just go the whole hog and make the branch like a reception area of A&E or a doctors’ surgery with rows of seats. Maybe even issue tickets, like at some supermarket delis, so you know when your turn will come.
  • Over-extended tellers: I don’t go into the branch that often (for obvious reasons) but every time I’ve been there I’ve heard a teller (one or two, remember) suggest a customer should take advantage of some offer or other: have a review, put funds into an ISA, etc. That means the teller has to shoot off into the back office to get the paperwork and, when she (it’s almost always a she) comes back, she’s tied up for a long time with one customer. I also object to the fact that their conversation is not private.
  • Useless ATMs: the RBS machines still don’t do fivers.
  • Service: I’m not going to start banging on about how we the taxpayers own RBS, although we do. But something has gone drastically wrong with RBS’s concept of service in the last few years. I’m a customer – have been for 52 years – not that that matters. But my bank account is not free: I pay a fee monthly to keep it running. I expect, as well as doing my own banking on the computer, once in a while I should be able to go into the branch and get served timeously. I want to make it known to RBS: I am not here to meet the needs of your shareholders. The bank is – or should be – here to meet my needs as a customer. And it isn’t doing that.

I’m sick of this. I’ve spent years refusing to deal with companies that don’t treat their staff or their customers well (the two go together in my experience).

Why should banks be allowed to get away with such treatment of their customers?

Jean Nisbet