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Customer, 97, told at bank counter… Go use the ATM

‘It’s my money’: Sylvia De Luca PICTURE: SWNS

A GREAT-GRANDMOTHER aged 97 has won an apology from a bank after she was refused counter service and told to use a cash machine.

Sylvia De Luca, who doesn’t know how to use ATMs and has limited movement in her fingers due to Raynaud’s disease, makes fortnightly trips to take out cash.

But after queuing up at a Royal Bank of Scotland branch, she handed over her bank card and bus pass to be told that over-the-counter withdrawals were no longer on offer.

The ex-shop manager, who worked behind counters for 70 years before retiring at 84, said: ‘The lady told me I’d have to use the machine but I know nothing about technology — she could’ve helped me, I’m 97.

‘What have they got a counter for then? It’s my money, not their money. It made me nervous. I was mortified.’

Mrs De Luca was saved by a bank worker who recognised her from another branch in Edinburgh, and helped her to withdraw the cash she wanted.

After the embarrassment, her son now brings her cash and she writes him a cheque. ‘My family are very good to me but I want my independence,’ she said.

Her daughter Deanna McQue, 74, said: ‘So many people from mum’s age group are too embarrassed to share similar experiences. Maybe they can’t remember their PIN number or use the machine with their fingers.’

Niece Norma Edington, 63, added: ‘It’s not always safe to use machines as there could be someone behind them.’

RBS said: ‘We apologise to Mrs De Luca for the difficulties she experienced.’ It added that it encouraged people to use machines during busy periods but she should have been served at the counter ‘if that was her preference’.