A DISABLED woman is planning to sue a bank for not making one of its Wembley branches accessible for wheelchairs and scooters.
Marian Keogh has been forced to do her banking in the middle of the busy Wembley High Road because she cannot get her mobility scooter up two steps and into HSBC.
The 54-year-old, of Harrow Road, was told by the bank that it would improve its access last year, but still nothing has been done.
Marian, who finds it extremely painful to walk after suffering from a stroke in 2004, says her last resort is to take the matter to court.
She said: "I am being totally ignored. They are breaking the law and they know they are.
"The last time they contacted me was in November last year. I have since written and emailed but still nothing has been done. I am a valued customer too and I should be treated like anyone else."
The Disability Discrimination Act says no-one should be treated differently and provision must be made to remove physical barriers which make it unreasonably difficult for disabled people to receive a fair service.
Staff from HSBC do come out to help Marian when she is making a transaction and exchanging money, but Marian believes this is not acceptable.
Marian said: "I feel very vulnerable when I have to get my money out and carry out my business in the middle of a busy street. Anybody could be watching and might follow me home knowing I may have cash on me.
"There are two other branches in the area, but why should I have to travel to a different bank when I have one on my doorstep just because I am disabled?
"It is disgusting. No human being should be made to feel so demoralised. I have already spoken to a solicitor and I think it is time I approached the courts."
HSBC originally said it was aware of the situation, but claims Brent Council refused planning permission for a ramp.
But the council said HSBC did not in fact apply to build a ramp, but rather made a "building regulations request" to install some sort of disabled access. Permission was granted in 2000 but work was never carried out.
A spokesman from the bank said: "HSBC is very proud of our work to improve disabled access at our branches and we are also very proud of our staff at Wembley High Road for helping their customer as they do.
"We fully appreciate that it is not an ideal situation, but I can assure you we take our responsibilities under the Disabilities Discrimination Act very seriously and have acted in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
"Where we have not been able to make physical changes to a branch, we make every reasonable effort to ensure our customers can do their banking.
"This includes providing additional external ATMs, advising on how banking can be done via the post, offering help to use telephone and internet banking and, in these circumstances, serving a customer outside the branch."