Lloyds bank to close
LLOYDS Bank in Staple Hill will close on September 17, it has been confirmed.
The banking giant says the announcement follows a review which revealed more than two thirds of Staple Hill customers do their banking at another branch, online or by phone.
This has led to the number of counter transactions at the branch falling last year by more than 10 per cent, Lloyds said.
Staple Hill councillor Ian Boulton said the closure was “deeply disappointing”.
He said: “To hear of the loss of our local Lloyds branch is obviously deeply disappointing and I fully understand the uncertainty this announcement can raise.
“It is, however, a genuine relief to learn that none of the staff working in the branch will face redundancy and existing customers will be able to use the Post Office on the opposite side of the High Street where they can continue to access all their usual Lloyds branch services.
“My main concern will be the possibility of a High Street unit remaining empty for any length of time. I hope that an exciting new business will be able to take advantage of this new space becoming available as soon as possible to provide a vote of confidence that Staple Hill can be a great place to set up a business.”
Lloyds says the nearest Post Office is a one minute walk from the branch and that staff will be talking to customers about the services offered there, adding that personal and business banking customers can withdraw money or check their balance, as well as pay in cheques and money to their account at any Post Office branch.
The Lloyds cashpoint will also close.However the nearest free-to-use ATM is a short walk from the branch.
A Lloyds Bank spokesman said: “We have made the difficult decision to close the Lloyds Bank branch in Staple Hill due to the changing ways customers choose to bank with us, which has resulted in it being used less often.
“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. Customers can continue to access their banking locally by visiting our Downend branch, which is less than a mile away, or by using the nearby Post Office.”
The bank would neither confirm nor deny whether there would be any redundancies but said its aim is to always avoid making compulsory redundancies when branches close.
Lloyds would not be drawn on whether its Downend branch would be upgraded saying: “While we have not announced any changes to our Downend branch at this time, we know that branches play an important role in our customers’ lives, which is why we continue to invest in our branch network to make sure we are there for our customers when they need us.”