Hello All: Please note, the photos are not my own, my experiences are documented on film and will be shared at a later date. The photos are taken from the Internet to provide you with an immediate visual of the buildings I visited and examples of ATM installations in the various cities.
The Bank of London was by far one of the most interesting experiences I had during my trip in regards to bank visits. The building is a huge marble wonder that takes up an entire block. The main entrance is only stairs, no ramp in sight. I asked the guard in the front how do I get in with my scooter. He didn’t know and then went inside to find out, leaving me outside in the sun. He came back and said he would escort me around the back where I could gain entry, using the same entrance as the delivery trucks. I had to wait for a different employee to come and find me to let me in through the delivery door, which is this huge 1920’s steel iron vault style door with a huge pirate ship wheel locking mechanism. We entered the building and ended up going through halls I wouldn’t have otherwise been allowed to see. I asked why there was no ramp and the response was because it’s a landmark building and the ramp would alter the facade too much. According to the employee, they did have a ramp in front of the building but it became unstable and was removed. However, installation of a new ramp has been prohibited because of the landmark status.
The ATMs or “cash points” as the British call them were all fairly high and I couldn’t use them while seated in my scooter. (Most ATMs in all the cities I visited were out of my reach if I remained seated in my scooter).
The main entrance into The Bank of Greece in Athens has one small step. I looked for an accessible entrance and found none, so I was unable to enter the bank. However, the ATMs located on the outside of the bank did not require climbing a step. I approached the ATMs while still on my scooter. But, to use the ATM to make a transaction I would have had to stand on my scooter seat.
Below is a photo of ATMs at the Agricultural Bank of Greece in Central Athens. Note how high the screens and buttons are.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority Information Centre (HKMA)
The HKMA is located in an elaborate, completely accessible modern skyscraper. The HKMA occupies 14 floors in the International Finance Centre; the museum/information centre is on the 55th floor, offering incredible views of Hong Kong. . However, all of the information is in Cantonese, so it’s not accessible for anyone who doesn’t speak or read Cantonese.
Above: ATMs at an HSBC branch in Hong Kong.
The ATMs in Seoul speak to you, really loudly. The first time I used an ATM, the volume frightened me, I thought someone was behind me. The ATMs are too high for me to use comfortably while on my scooter.
The Bank of Korea has a side entrance with a stair lift, installed alongside the stair handrails, that transports you on a small platform, up and down the stairs. I arrived 30 minutes before they closed and was told that I couldn’t go in because there wasn’t enough time. I pointed out I had half an hour and they eventually let me in. There were super steep ramps inside the building and minimal services to accommodate the disabled.