Writer, zoologist and gundog enthusiast, Pippa blogs on life in the countryside

Down with the village bank!

Those of you who are old enough will remember when opening a bank account was a simple matter.  My seventeen year old son popped in to our village banks yesterday with his brand new student photo ID card, proof of address,  and letter from his college confirming his place on a course recognised by the student loans authority.

There are two small banks in our village.   This first bank told him that his student ID card was not the right sort of ID card,   they would only accept a passport (he does not have one) or a driving licence (he does not drive),  or a special student ID card whose origins they were not able to divulge.

The second bank were perfectly happy with his student photo ID card which was apparently quite ‘studenty’  enough for them.  But alas, his course (a one year higher diploma)  did not quite meet their standards in the duration department.   Only two years of study would do.  

To what age group do these ridiculous criteria apply I wonder.  Does a thirty year old need to be on a two year study course to open a bank account.   I suspect not.

Neither bank had the slightest interest in this seventeen year old as a long term customer or offered him any constructive advice as to how else he could access his student loan  (which the student loan authority will only pay into a bank account in his name)

It appears that you have to jump through more hoops than a performing parrot to put money IN to a bank.    What a pity the banks don’t get together and agree on the same checks,  then publicise these clearly for all and sundry to see.  

What possible relevance the length of a course should have to a bank,  when the course is approved for a student loan by the student loans authority,  I cannot begin to imagine.  And why should banks be able to insist on photo ID,  when carrying photo ID is not yet a legal requirement in this country?

Maybe someone can enlighten me?

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