A pensioner and online banking critic has won his first victory over Spanish banks with a protest campaign titled ‘I’m old, but I’m not an idiot’.
Just a day after Carlos San Juan, 78, surpassed the 600,000 signature mark with his online petition, the first major financial institution responded.
Banco Santander, Spain’s largest lender by total global assets, announced on February 9 that it would extend its counter opening hours for all customers by three hours, the state broadcaster reported. RTVE and other media.
The measure is due to come into force on Monday.
San Juan presented his petition to the Ministry of Economy and the Central Bank of Madrid on February 8.
The retired doctor calls on Spanish banks to provide staffing services to older people in particular, rather than directing them towards digital services, as generally older people are less comfortable with online banking.
“It will be a difficult task,” he told the Europa Press news agency.
Spanish banks, like many others around the world, are closing branches and reducing the times when face-to-face services are available, prompting San Juan to call for “urgent action”.
Economy Minister Nadia Calviño has promised him government action by the end of the month.
The growing use of digital services does not only affect banks, El País reports the newspaper.
According to surveys, around a third of Spaniards feel limited in their ability to access services, jobs or state aid due to the digital divide.
The government has promised to pressure banks to make staff available to older people, saying the industry recognizes the problem and is committed to addressing it. – dpa