About a year ago I went paperless with my HSBC bank account, instead using internet banking. It suits me this way, as I download all my transactions from the website and its great as I am saving a few trees by not getting the bank statement and all the other leaflets they insist on sending you. This makes my filing a lot less and for about a year has caused me no problems.

However, I applied for a loan the other week from Abbey National and I got it- hurrah! I Then was asked for ID and proof of my current account. On it, it said they only accepted printed statements that are 3 months and not those printed from the internet. So when, frantically searching through my statements realised that I had cancelled paper copies from 2006. So that definitely does not fall in the 3 month period!!

So then tried phone banking, and after being put on hold twice and a 16 minute wait was very apologetically told that she was unable to order statements from her system. They would only be able to send me an email copy? I find this strange that they can’t order a paper copy when required. So she suggested that I go to the local branch.

So off I went to the various banks, luckily only a few doors between each other on Sutton High Street- which as you can see was very fortunate. First of all I went into HSBC and they said unfortunately that they cannot give a paper copy from the branch and that they can order me one but that will take me 3 days to come through. At the branch they can only give an internet copy and that they don’t think it will be accepted for loan applications as they need proof of address, but just in case I took a copy.

So off I went to Abbey National and asked if they would accept an internet statement, if I had a paper copy with my address from 2006. So after phoning the loans department they said that if I got it branch stamped then yes, they would accept it, so off I toddle up the street to HSBC to then get it stamped. So they dutifully stamped my documents and so now my loan agreement is on its merry little way by snail mail!!!

So now I am wondering when will this be a truly paperless world. How many offices do you know that were supposedly going paperless and then were told to keep paper copies? I know many people who print out emails “just in case”. So when is the mysterious paperless world going to happen.

And don’t even get me started on a paperless world without books…. The techno geeks have said for years that they were going to be replaced by ebooks but I see that a long way off. And as the bookworm that I am – I will be sad to say goodbye to my books and the joy of the smell of a brand new book.

The moral to all this being persistent counts and a paperless world is a long way off!!