NALC pushes for better customer service from high street banks


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) met with UK Finance and senior high street bank officials this week to promote its campaign for better customer service and easier systems for local (parish and town) councils to use.

The meeting was brokered by officials at UK Finance, the national representative body for banks, which arranged for senior representatives from three major high street banks to attend.

Also in attendance were representatives from the Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire county associations of local councils who provided survey evidence about negative banking experiences of local councils in their areas.

NALC provided context about how local councils operate, their financial requirements, their powers and duties and why it was crucial that they did not encounter ongoing problems with bank customer services and repeat problems with bank mandates. A request was made for high street banks to simplify their bank mandate requirements and make it easier for clerks to change signatories whenever councillors pass away or lose their seats in an election.

The representatives from the three banks were receptive to the issues raised. They agreed to liaise with their colleagues on the mandate and customer services issues discussed and to meet again in the coming months to discuss progress. They also said they understood the impact of COVID-19, the transition to online banking, the need for positive ongoing engagement and improving where feedback indicated a need to do so.

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