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Bitter blow as banks

pull out of Hornsea

    By Andrea Kirk  
       
   
HORNSEA residents have been left feeling abandoned following the recent revelations that both of the town’s remaining banks, the NatWest and Lloyds will close their branches next June. Lloyds Bank will close on June 5, 2018, and the NatWest Bank on June 11, 2018. The decision is linked to a steep decline in the usage of traditional branches in favour of online banking. This has been compounded by the sudden closure of the town’s main branch post office within the Cliff Road convenience store. Hornsea resident, Patrick Finn, a Lloyds Bank customer said: “To pay anything in involves a 50 mile drive to Hull. If you live in a reasonably sized town you shouldn’t have to travel for 40 or 50 minutes to get access to a bank.” A number of residents have contacted MP Graham Stuart who has written to both banks to raise concerns. He said “It’s important that banking services are available to everyone, not just the tech savvy and people who are able to drive to alternative branches. I have also asked the banks to provide information on how alternative face-to face banking services can be accessed by my constituents.” Town councillor Barbara Jefferson said: “Hornsea seems to be in utter chaos. I’m so disappointed the banks have not coordinated with each other and not left Hornsea with at least one bank. I have asked for the issue to be added to Hornsea Town Council’s agenda for the next meeting on December 11 to see if we can send a letter to the banks.” Lloyds Bank occupies the corner premises of the ironically named Bank Street on Newbegin. The previously occupied HSBC Bank premises on the opposite corner is currently empty. Customers are being offered a mobile service which will come to the area. A Lloyds Bank spokesperson said: “We’ll be speaking to customers about the new mobile branch service, which will be operational prior to the branch closing, as well as their nearest alternative branch, which is on Ings Road in Hull.” Statistics provided by Lloyds Bank show the number of transactions made by personal customers using the Hornsea branch decreased last year by over 10 per cent. The situation is consistent with that being experienced by the NatWest Bank which has premises located further up Newbegin. A spokesperson for NatWest said: “Since 2012 we have seen the way in which people use NatWest Hornsea branch change dramatically, with now 86 per cent of customers already banking in other ways locally. Transactions in NatWest Hornsea branch have reduced by 23 per cent since 2012 with now only 70 customers visiting the branch on a weekly basis. 58 per cent of customers are now choosing to bank digitally with us on a regular basis instead.” The bank is introducing community bankers and has created a new specialist taskforce of NatWest TechXperts dedicated to supporting customers with digital skills until the branch closes. Meanwhile, a Post Office spokesperson apologised for inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Hornsea Post Office following the postmaster’s resignation. “We understand how important Post Office services are to a community and would like to reassure customers that we are doing all we can to restore services to them as soon as possible. In the meantime customers can access services nearby at The Greenway branch.”
 
         
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