Bank launches bus to bring your ATM to you

Bank launches bus to bring your ATM to you

That’s exactly what is happening in Spain. Bankia, the bailed-out lender that closed branches and laid off staff, is rolling out a bus service to areas it was forced to exit.

Essentially, the new service is a bus on wheels. The vehicles, emblazoned with the Bankia name and colours, feature tellers and even waiting areas where customers can sit while they wait to be seen. They will do “a little bit of everything”, said Antonio Soto, Bankia’s regional director.

Bankia plans to send the bus to 17 towns in the Valencia region that have been left without branches after the lender requested a €19bn rescue package amid losses of more than €4bn. It originally planned to close 1,100 offices and axe 4,500 workers over three years.

“We will try to give solutions to everyone, but it’s not easy,” Mr Soto said. “In the end, all this [is against] a financial background, which is what you have to take into consideration.”

However, he emphasised the “willingness of Bankia” to provide the service because it had a presence in these towns over “many years” and “at the end, there are people” who need access to banks.

Despite this, in some areas the bank bus comes just once a month, in a country that lost around 4.9pc, or 1,963, of its branches in 2012.

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