Banks branch out
Rural areas must not lose out
FOR CUSTOMERS in Yorkshire who have seen their local bank branches close in recent months and years, it may be somewhat surprising to hear claims from one of the UK’s largest financial institutions that retaining such facilities is at the heart of its business plan.
Halifax has revealed hopes to open new ‘mega branches’ in the North following a new flagship branch on London’s Oxford Street arriving next month. But the claims may ring hollow in places like Hornsea, which has already seen Halifax and HSBC leave and will watch its final two branches, NatWest and Lloyds, shutting in June.
While new bank branches are of course welcome, the hundreds of communities across the country that have lost their facilities in a similar manner to Hornsea, as banks encourage customers to sort out their financial affairs online, would be more than justified in questioning whether big cities are really the places where new branches are most needed.