Lloyds set to shut bank branches
LLOYDS Banking Group is to shut its branches in Downend and Hanham because of a fall in business.
Lloyds bank branches in Hanham, top, and Downend, above
The news comes just a few months after Lloyds closed its Staple Hill bank.
The decision has been met with dismay from community leaders and residents, who are concerned about the impact on small businesses and elderly people.
It is a particular blow to Hanham, which is now left without a bank in the High Street.
According to Lloyds, 439 customers use the Hanham branch on a regular monthly basis with counters 20 per cent quieter than a year ago.
Cashpoint transactions were down by two per cent, although business customers were using the facility more, with a seven per cent rise in usage.
The 45-54 age group use the bank the most at 18 per cent, with 16 per cent of its customers aged 75 and over.
Traders, many of whom bank with Lloyds for convenience, have already met with Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore to discuss launching a petition to persuade the banking heavyweight to have a change of heart.
South Gloucestershire Hanham councillor Brenda Langley said: “Right now the current situation will be disappointing but going forward, we will campaign for services to return to Hanham High Street, in whatever form and we hope residents will support us in this endeavour.”
Councillor June Bamford said: “It is a shame that at a time when the council is putting even more resource into supporting our high streets, supporting initiatives such as “Love our High Streets”, through financial support to local traders and millions of pounds in capital investments through the budget, that an important local service like the local banks are nowhere to be found.”
Lloyds said the number of personal banking customers using the Downend branch had dropped by 35 per cent, with business customers down by five per cent.
Councillor Janet Biggin, chairman of Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council, said: “We know this will unfortunately cause difficulties with people accessing some of their banking requirements, although it has been said that the Post Office will be available for simple banking transactions. The closure of yet another branch of the banking network is going to mean that people will have to travel to Fishponds, Kingswood or Yate as many customers are now favouring the online facilities rather than branch based banking.”
Across the country, a total of 56 Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches will shut between April and October 2020. Lloyds Banking Group has already closed 151 branches between January 2018 and August 2019.
The Downend bank will shut on May 6 and Hanham on June 3.
A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson: “We are committed to having the largest branch network in the UK and, in addition to our branches, all our customers can also use the Post Office to access their banking locally. We have confirmed that a number of branches will close between April and October this year. This is in response to changing customer behaviours and the reduced number of transactions being made in branches.”