Banks branch out

Ru­ral ar­eas must not lose out

Yorkshire Post - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

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.

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