Hey, there! Log in / Register

Banks start closing branches as people turn even more to online banking in a pandemic age

The Boston Sun reports the Hingham Institute for Savings is closing its Beacon Hill branch and that Cambridge Trust is seeking permission to shut its branch on Tremont Street in the South End.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Free tagging: 

Ad:

Do you like how UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

There are lots of banking services that can't be done online: money orders, safe-deposit boxes, deposits (for people who don't trust the machines), laundry quarters, notarizations, etc. I love TD Bank, but I find it annoying that you basically need an appointment to get to a human inside a branch beyond the ATM lobby.

up
Voting closed 14

Why do you need a bank for any of the things you’re talking about? Sure, they have a monopoly on safe deposit boxes but there’s no reason for that. And they’re not that safe anyway, there’s no insurance on the stuff you put in them. Money orders and quarters could be dispensed by machines or convenience stores, and notaries can be found in lots of offices.

up
Voting closed 13

But these services are part of what you pay your bank for.

up
Voting closed 13

You pay your bank for things? I have never given my bank a dime in fees.

up
Voting closed 14

you know your bank makes money off of your money, right? even when you "don't pay a dime in fees".

up
Voting closed 16

If you have a bank account with any money in it, even a checking account but particularly a savings account, they are getting the float on that money. So you're paying them through the use of your money, if not through direct fees.

(As is appropriate; if you have a bank account you're using their services which it really isn't reasonable to expect will be free).

up
Voting closed 10

Can be done via your phone, too.

up
Voting closed 3

And they’re not that safe anyway, there’s no insurance on the stuff you put in them.

Yes! I investigated this vs a wall safe. I found that a wall safe was better! Even if my home burned down, I would get the value of what is inside the box. Safe Deposit box, not so much.

However... I still ended up getting one also. Why? Off site secure storage. May not be insured but it's a good place for putting of backups of my computer's data

Money orders and quarters could be dispensed by machines or convenience stores, and notaries can be found in lots of offices.

In most cases yes. There's a change shortage these days, otherwise I'd suggest WalMart or Market Basket for change. Many are more than happy, in non covid times, to give you rolls of change.

up
Voting closed 5

At least one chain supermarket (Stop & Shop) has stopped getting rolled coins from their own bank's armored car service because they installed a cash recyling machine a few years ago. They no longer have rolled coin to give customers at all...even before the change shortage. I wonder how long it will be before the other grocery chains follow suit?

Back in the day, every laundromat had a change machine...you'd stick a bill in, and get out the equivalent in quarters. Even people who did laundry in their own apartment buildings would be able to go into any laundromat and get change for their "home" coin-op machines. I have heard many a young person in my neighborhood tell me that that's not really the case anymore, as many area laundromats in Allston/Brighton don't have money changers anymore even if they have coin-op machines.

There is at least one laundromat in Allston, and one landlord (my own) who converted to RFID cards years ago. It's similar to a Charlie Card, in that you stick the card in the machine, then your cash, and the cash is added to the card. You then put the card into the washer or dryer to pay.

I imagine there must be a HUGE cash layout to convert to such a system, because people I tell about it tend to be very surprised it exists...yet it's clearly not new technology.

up
Voting closed 3

Years ago, they replaced machines that took only coins with new ones that take only credit and debit cards.

I used to have three reasons to get rolls of quarters: laundry, MBTA bus fare, and parking meters. Now I never need them at all.

up
Voting closed 4

use laundry cards, which one must use either a credit card or debit card in order to add value towards, and $50.00 dollars is the maximum that one can add to their laundry card, but the card money must be down to $10.00 at the very most if one wants to add value to their card.

It's crazy, but it's true, but we've got better machines and dryers out of that so it's worth it.

up
Voting closed 3

My apartment (a 3 unit house) in Allston has coin-op laundry in the basement. There's a laundromat around the corner with a change machine, and that was one of my main quarter sources when I first moved in 5 years ago. The others being the bank or the supermarket.

Sometime in the last year or two, the laundromat operator put a "LAUNDROMAT CUSTOMERS ONLY" sign up over the change machine. I used it a couple times after that, but I felt bad. The grocery store soon became my go-to source. Then the pandemic hit.

Our local store stopped offering quarters at the help desk. The bank didn't seem like a good option either. We weren't sure what to do... until I realized I could just text my landlord and ask him to sell our quarters back to us. We've been doing that since April. It saves both of us a trip to the bank. Win-win. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.

up
Voting closed 3

When I first moved into the apartment building that I'm presently living in, over 30 years ago, there were (and still are) six washing machines and six dryers for both of the buildings in our complex. Both the washing machines and the dryers operated on quarters, which was a pain in the neck, because one either had to go to the bank, or even the carwash up the street from us to get quarters. It got to be a pain in the neck to have to hunt for quarters every time one did their laundry, but the management of our apartment complex eventually purchased front-loading washing machines, and dryers, which operated on laundry cards, which we had to periodically purchase added values to them, using either a debit or credit card. Front-loading washing machines do cost more to operate, but they're more efficient on the long run, because they use less water.

up
Voting closed 3

There was a good NYTimes article on Safe Deposit Boxes.

In a nutshell, banks hate them. They are expensive and not widely used by customers anymore. New bank branches don't have them. I have one but only because I asked about it.

Big banks have been consolidating them by moving the boxes some smaller branches to regional offices. In the process, they have lost and misplaced the contents.

up
Voting closed 11

It would be nice if we could implement postal banking to fill some of these needs. Unfortunately, the current federal attention to the USPS is going in the opposite direction.

up
Voting closed 22

In the 70s "bank by mail" was the latest thing. It never really caught on much. It seems like it would be a big backwards step to implement that now.

up
Voting closed 3

"Postal banking" doesn't mean "bank by mail," it refers to the Postal Service offering banking services. They already offer money orders; they are already in the business of processing transactions, storing currency and high value items, andsecurely moving stuff from one place to another; they already have a broad national network of staffed locations with counter service. it's a natural added value service that many countries postal services already offer.

up
Voting closed 12

I almost certainly contracted coronavirus while working at a bank.

"People who don't trust machines" is an argument that needs to be thrown out the window ... you're typing on a machine. Virtually (as in, literally, and pun intended as well) ALL banking infrastructure is run by machines. Do you see any teller using anything more analog than an adding machine?

Quit griping about your routine having a minor inconvenience. There are people who are being subjected to risk without reasonable consent -- simply by working retail in a pandemic -- because people like you are stamping your feet and co-opting and criticizing public health policy not being tailored to your "what-ifs."

If you need to make an appointment, get it all done in one fell swoop. Banks are always a phone call away for things that need special attention. Always have, always will.

up
Voting closed 11

VERY bad trend.

Have you been to Ireland in the last few years? Customer service at banks there is in the toilet - you need a reservation/appointment to get someone to help you. Believe me, we don't want to head anywhere in that direction.

up
Voting closed 5

Capital One has the right idea: open coffee shops instead of branches and give your customers half-price discounts. I haven’t been in a branch for regular banking business in about 5 years.

up
Voting closed 16

I had to make some unexpected trips to a branch (well, the lobby ATM) during the pandemic to deposit checks, because my bank suddenly decided my phone was too old to run their app. I'm not sure what the alternative was -- mailing the checks to the bank?

up
Voting closed 5

Who knew banks needed permission from the state to close a branch?

Do they also need permission to open one? I know of neighborhoods where there are too many banks, and they've pushed out other businesses.

up
Voting closed 9

Good riddance! I'm sick and tired of seeing local stores or smaller shops close and get replaced by another bank branch.

up
Voting closed 33

Nothing more disappointing than expecting a new fun restaurant to open only to see the sign go up for yet another Santander. But the void will be filled NY a nail salon or real estate office instead probably.

up
Voting closed 10

It's fun to imagine that all brick and mortar banks will be replaced with hip coffee shops and mom and pop stores, but that's hardly a given.

up
Voting closed 6

Empty store fronts provide opportunity for mom and pop shops to return. The problem is the restaurant closes because the rent goes up, bank moves in because they can easily afford it. Rent goes up more because most banks won't bother closing over rising rents. More restaurants close because the landlord would rather rent to banks. Next thing you know what was once a trendy neighborhood has nothing left but 9 banks and a Ruths Chris.

up
Voting closed 3

My first thought is it will be interesting to see what replaces the bank branch, if the bank branch seems to be the final stage of Boston commercial real estate.

up
Voting closed 7

Not new ones proposing to open up.

And the local stores, restaurants, that are closing just decide to close. Unlike that bank in Cambridge, they don't need permission from the local government to do so.

up
Voting closed 3

I spoke with the staff at the Hingham Savings branch mentioned in the article, and they all have jobs waiting for them at other branches; in one case resulting in a much easier commute.

up
Voting closed 7

wasted almost 2 hours last time trying to get a few rolls so I can have clean cloths!

up
Voting closed 3