We’ve had a massive response to our latest branch survey (sent yesterday afternoon) and we are now able to publish our first set of results; thank you to all members who have completed the survey so far.
- The majority of the feedback focused on the fact that there are too many staff in branches.
- The extended working hours of 10am to 4pm are unnecessary.
- 65% of respondents said more staff been told to report for work than are needed to provide essential banking services to customers.
- 71% said staff being told to do work other than providing essential banking services e.g. cleaning, tidying up, telemarketing.
- 38% said staff in their branch were doing jobs they could do from home.
- 10% of respondents said that their branches still don’t have protective screens. Of those 54% said they hadn’t been promised.
- 60% of respondents had been asked to buy cleaning products themselves.
- 9% of respondents said a security guard had been requested at their branch but of those, 58% said that one hadn’t been provided.
- 14% had been asked to work 9am to 5pm, mostly to ‘work back’ Saturday hours.
Too Many Staff, Unnecessary Risk, For What Purpose?
The survey results clearly reflect the issues Mark Brown raised in his newsletter yesterday: there are just too many staff in the branches, working unnecessarily long hours in open defiance of the government’s clear instructions. Here is just a small selection of the feedback we’ve received, which sums up what members are telling us:
“The bank wants to keep it 10-4 as advertising to show customers we’re open unlike the other banks. Meaning it’ll rather showcase that than protect its own staff.”
“In a branch it is very difficult to practice social distancing, too many staff.”
“Feel that the staff in the front line are being exposed more to the virus. My branch is closed and working in another. Branch is very quiet in the afternoon so standing around waiting for 4pm. All other Banks in the area close at 2pm. Sometimes feel nervous and scared being exposed.”
“Too many people in branches when government guidelines state only essential staff required. Staff need to be on shift system. 10 till 4pm too long not necessary as we are so quiet in branch”
“Most days, we have far too many staff in and aren’t allowed to send anyone home as this would be ‘unfair’ on other branch partners who can’t do the same.”
“Feel like rotas could be organised for week in week off for example. It’s haphazard at the moment. Overall feel we are being looked after and management trying to do their best”
“I think the fact the opening hours are 10-4 closing for an hour for lunch is ridiculous! We are closing the doors in customers making them wait for an hour and then serve about 2 customers 2-4!
“I feel like the bank is more concerned about customers wanting to move over to us after all this has blown over as we are open longer than the other banks in our shopping centre and customers will notice that! most of the customers coming into branch are attempting non essential transactions, it is very stressful.”
“Our manager has been amazing. People moaning about cleaning elsewhere but Our branch partners want to protect ourselves and our customers and we will continue to do so by cleaning customer and staff areas on a regular basis. I do think that we could close at 3pm as it goes very quiet after then”
”My local director is doing a good job of keeping his staff safe”
Several members have reported to us that their managers are doing a great job of trying to look after their staff in difficult circumstances and those managers should quite rightly be praised. Others are not doing a great job, but it’s senior management’s responsibility to ensure all managers know what to do and do it! That requires clear, unambiguous advice from the centre.
The lack of these clear instructions is the root of the problem and is putting staff at unnecessary risk. The situation is summed up perfectly by this member:
“Social distancing is not possible in a branch at all times. I feel the bank had put £££ and customers before our safety. I don’t think they get that this virus could kill us. We were queued down the street yesterday and we reckon about possibly 10 transactions were really critical. It is Time to reduce the bank hours again. Feel very disappointed in Debbie Crosbie’s handing of this. We need to be led by people who will put staff first. And Carol Anderson should drop the little granny act and realise staff see right through it and that she couldn’t care less about the “people”. Stress levels in branches are very high. I don’t suffer from anxiety but I walk into work every day with a pounding headache and pains in my chest at the thought of going out.”
Debbie Crosbie needs to reduce working hours in line with the other Banks and introduce shift working so that the risk to staff is reduced, whilst essential services are still provided. I am assuming here that she makes the decisions and is not being dictated to from Spain: but whatever the situation, urgent action is needed to meet the government’s rules and protect staff.