“The community can beat traditional banks”
Citizens, especially the most vulnerable, feel that financial institutions no longer count on them. Since 2008, we have gone from having 62,000 ATMs throughout Spain to around 49,000. And last year, traditional banks laid off more than 19,000 workers. That is why the Spanish government is demanding that banks take strong measures against financial exclusion. But will they do so? And what does 11Onze propose? In a new episode of L’Estat de la Nació, 11Onze’s head of agents, Lara de Castro, answers the question.
“The traditional entities are closing offices, reducing the number of employees… And, obviously, the service cannot be what it used to be,” Lara de Castro explains. This situation, she warns, is causing “discontent” among a whole section of the public that “banks have decided that they are no longer useful,” because they no longer consider them “technologically intelligent.” “Older people feel abandoned, obviously,” the head of agents warns.
Against this contempt, De Castro defends the 11Onze proposal for the community. “We live in a society that divides us so much that we forget that the community has a lot of strength. And it is the strength of the community that can make us overcome all these objections from the big banks,” she says. And she adds: “We can’t forget that the younger ones have to help the older ones, and vice versa. If we don’t help each other, what are we left with?.”
That is why 11Onze works to weave strong links within its community. This is how the ‘11Onze a Casa (‘11Onze at Home’) service was born. “In addition to the 24/7 telephone service, where you are attended by a person, and not a robot that takes you through a lot of phases, we now also attend by video call,” De Castro explains. “If the person receives help from a family member to get in front of the screen, we act as guides with a lot of agility. And it’s working very well,” the head of agents says.
In fact, ‘11Onze a Casa’ is a service that the fincom set up in advance of Spanish regulations that oblige financial institutions to offer a closer service 24 hours a day. “And it was about time! If traditional banks, which were bailed out by the state, haven’t done it yet, it’s because they don’t want to. This past year banks have made extraordinary profits in the middle of the pandemic,” Lara de Castro denounces. Because, indeed, there are no more excuses against financial exclusion.
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