Madrid (EFE) , asks the Government to fulfill its promises.
In an interview with EFE, San Juan recalled the positive social response achieved by his initiative, which led to the creation of a voluntary action protocol signed by all the entities with specific measures, which in his opinion has only translated for the moment into an extension of business hours.
What all entities have not yet done, San Juan points out, is to improve ATMs to simplify operations or mobile applications or “apps”, some “very complicated” to install and use by this group.
These few results “were to be expected”, due to the “voluntary” nature of the protocol, which is also “self-assessing”, so the data cannot be verified by an independent authority, he lamented.
But this will change when the Financial Client Defense Authority Law is approved, which is in parliament, recalled San Juan, who believes that the process “is taking too long” and fears that it will go “long and long” until enter the electoral period, with which it would already be the responsibility of the next Government.
The entities defend their management of the problem
Financial institutions recall that the number of bank branches that operate with extended cashier hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. has doubled and add that more than 6 million customers over 65, approximately two thirds of the total, have used of the cashier service with face-to-face and preferential attention.
These data come from the first monitoring report on the measures to improve care for the elderly or people with disabilities, which collects information from the sector as a whole, banks, former savings banks and credit cooperatives.
Likewise, the report maintains that 91% of the ATM network of the entities are already adapted to the needs of this group, and affirms that more than 75% of the sector has introduced improvements in its web pages and “apps” focused in the elders.
Banks are not NGOs, but they are a public service
Carlos San Juan is clear that banks “are not NGOs”, as “some commentator” has come to blurt out in one of his interventions on television, but he is even more clear that they provide “a public service”, from the moment they They “force them to collect their pension from the bank and pay the bills” through this channel.
That is why entities have the obligation to provide a good service to all customers, especially the most vulnerable, he insisted.
And if not, “that they look for solutions”, such as creating a public bank, resuscitating savings banks, or allowing retirees to go to the Post Office to collect their pension and carry out other procedures, as is done in other countries to alleviate branch closures, especially in rural areas.
Less branches and more problems to use the card
In this sense, he has also lamented the constant trickle of branch closures, both in rural and urban areas, and which he believes is particularly detrimental to this group, who is forced to make long journeys to go to the bank in many occasions.
And “the last straw” is that some banks charge their customers to update their savings cards, up to ten euros in some cases and two euros for inquiries at the window and this “there is no one to stop it either,” he said.
The booklet “is essential for the elderly” because it is the way for those who do not master the technology to check if they have correctly entered the pension or if they have received the receipts for the month, so restricting its use is “an impressive setback » for this group.
“I ask the Government to take into account that we are more than 10 million older people and in a few years we will be the longest-lived country in the world”, so it is urgent to legislate and prepare long-term measures to care for the elderly, since “We all vote,” he said.