WHEN Nat West Bank closed some years back in Settle we transferred to HSBC.

This was a very happy period. The staff were excellent, helpful and friendly. A pleasure to deal with. Sadly last August they closed.

The nearest available bank branch was then in Skipton. A toss up between Nat West or Barclays. Once bitten, twice shy. We opted for Barclays. Less than four months later they advise they are going to close in just over two months.

On behalf of my wife who is physically handicapped and myself I made an appointment at Barclays 'Hub' in Settle and have eventually got sorted out with on-line banking.

It has been a bit of a nightmare. More so is trying to get a credit card which for reasons I still do not understand I have yet to accomplish. Fair enough, I am after all 84.

During my professional life I was for over 20 years a building society manager. I developed a two word mantra, 'People matter'.

All that went by the board back during 1986 when the Thatcher administration enacted the 'Financial Services Act' The rest is history. A disaster.

Remember that TV series, 'The Rag Trade' with its catch phrase, 'Never mind the quality feel the width'?

You do nobody a favour lending them money they cannot afford to repay. I took early retirement over 30 years back starting a new career as administrator with the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

The money was rubbish yet the job satisfaction immense meeting wonderful people who are doing their best to control the effects of global warming at a local level.

Money is not everything unless you happen to be a bank executive when profit and bonus reign above all else. Shame on them.

Bob Swallow