Two more Shropshire banks to close in latest cuts to county's branches

Two more banks in Shropshire are to close later this year.

Whitchurch town centre
Whitchurch town centre

Lloyds Banking Groups confirmed Whitchurch will lose its Halifax branch in November, followed by the Lloyds branch in Cleobury Mortimer in January. Llandrindod Wells' Lloyds branch will also close in January.

The latest closure notice from Lloyds Banking Group says 66 outlets are set to close across England, Northern Ireland, and Wales between October and February 2023 - 48 Lloyds Bank branches and 18 Halifax outlets.

It means bank customers will lose access to 133 Lloyds Bank branches, 50 Halifax outlets, and 19 Bank of Scotland branches by the end of January. The banking group said visits to the latest 66 branches due to close have fallen by 60 per cent on average in the past five years.

Barclays, TSB and HSBC are also closing branches.

Later this week the Mount Pleasant branch of Lloyds in Shrewsbury will close and earlier this month the banking giant announced Welshpool will lose its branch in January. The Welsh town, which will be without a High Street bank, has been promised a banking hub.

Vice-chair of Cleobury Mortimer Town Council, Neil Tysall, said the news was a real body blow to the town with Lloyds the only High Street branch remaining.

"It is terrible news for the community and for the staff who work at the branch," he said.

"Businesses and organisations depend on the branch and, while it had cut its hours, we believed that such a well supported branch would be retained.

"We have a considerable percentage of older people who live in the area and who may struggle with online banking."

Councillor Tysall said that the town council would be doing everything it could to support people transition to a "virtual world".

"It maybe that we can provide accommodation for in person visits by the bank for instance."

In Whitchurch Councillor Gerald Dakin said that it would be the elderly population that would suffer the most with the closure of the Halifax.

He said the closure could also have a knock-on effect on the business community.

"People go into Whitchurch to do their banking and at the same time will call into a couple of shops or maybe have a cup of tea or lunch," he said.

Helen Morgan, North Shropshire MP said: “It’s disappointing to learn that yet another bank is closing a branch in North Shropshire.

“It’s really important that banks put plans in place to help those affected both in the short and long term. I will be speaking to Halifax and Barclays to stress the importance of this and will make it clear that only providing temporary on-the-ground support is not good enough.

“While many of us now use online banking it is often the most vulnerable people who suffer the most as a result of branch closures and their needs must be catered for.

“Whitchurch and Market Drayton will soon only have three banks between them and Wem has long been without any bank. Customers must not be punished for living in rural areas so it is down to the banks to make sure they can still access the services they need without having to travel.”

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