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Man lambasts local bank

By gail robinson, Town Reporter Tuesday 12th August 2014
Ian Pratt

A HIGH street bank has been lambasted by a Barnsley man who is fighting an incurable muscle wasting disease - for its attitude towards the disabled.

Ian Pratt has motor neurone disease, which causes weakness and wasting of muscles.

His body is wasting away, he has lost more than five stones in weight and needs an electric wheelchair to get out of his Monk Bretton home.

So when he arrived at the RBS branch in Barnsley town centre earlier this week he was faced with an insurmountable problem.

There are three steps that have to be mounted to get into the bank and there is no ramp.

A small sign does say that people requiring assistance can ring the bell - but that bell has been removed.

Ian, 44, finally had to resort to asking a stranger if they would pay a cheque into his bank account for him.

Even when that stranger told staff inside the bank on Church Street of Ian's predicament- no-one from the bank went outside to offer him any assistance.

To rub salt into the wounds when Ian got home and phoned the RBS customer services line to ask why there was not an operational bell outside the bank, he was advised he should go to the RBS branch in Sheffield 16 miles away.

Ian, from Newhill Road, said: "I'm very angry and extremely frustrated by this. If there is a legitimate legal reason why there cannot be a ramp to enable wheelchair access at the very least there should be a bell we could ring.

"I thought the staff might at least have come outside when they were told I was stuck out here, but they didn't and the response I got from the customer services line, quite frankly, I found condescending."

A spokesman for RBS said: "It's unacceptable that Mr Pratt could not access our branch to conduct his banking in person and we have apologised to him for the inconvenience and frustration caused.

"The call-bell has been repaired and we will ensure it is checked regularly."

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Posted by Chloe I Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 2:18pm

That's banking for you! I've worked in banking for quite a few years and had to quit due to being bullied. I have a heading impairment which has lead my to be profoundly deaf in one ear and severely in the other which I use a hearing aid for. I've also visited other banks and have received horrible comments when I haven't heard the teller call me over. Banks no nothing about disability, I know as I've worked for two seperate ones and they control many other groups too.

Posted by Sarah smith I Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 2:42pm

He should have spoken with Unity Law in Sheffield, they helped my cousin who is disabled.

Posted by nicola dove I Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 5:44pm

its not just RBS which is completely inaccessible Lloyds is the same but at least lloyds had the decency to come out and help someone like myself in a wheelchair. Hope he put an official complaint in as its disgusting in this day and age

Posted by Kerry Dean I Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 7:24pm

Even if there was a bell someone suffering with MND may not even have the ability or be strong enough to actually press the bell !!! Having no disabled access is just not on at all!!!! Xx

Posted by Steve I Tue 12th Aug 2014 at 7:48pm

I thought all buildings open to the general public had to have facilities for the disabled. Any way I would be changing my bank if that was the service I was being given.

Posted by jenny lambeth I Wed 13th Aug 2014 at 7:40pm

That's one Bank we will never ever use as my son as ( MND ) if they treat disabled customers like that how will they treat able customers, they are not interested in you.... only your money.

Posted by G I Thu 14th Aug 2014 at 11:06am

Even with the bell, what will the staff do? Come outside and conduct your banking in the street? Disabled people still need the privacy and security offered to able bodied people to do their banking. Surely they need to install a ramp, or if they aren't allowed because of the building, some kind of motorised ramp that can be used as and when and isn't a permanent fixture to the building.

Posted by Vicki I Sun 17th Aug 2014 at 8:42am

Ha I'm glad he rung n complained, I went to the same bank On Friday with my 18 mth old in a pushchair and a stranger had to help me up the steps, I told my husband it's ridiculous that there is no ramp for likes of ppl like me and the gentleman in his wheelchair. Something needs to be dun!!!

Posted by Pete p I Thu 28th Aug 2014 at 10:41am

That's RBS for you - complete shysters, I wouldn't have anything to do with them!

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