Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has reacted angrily to news that Knaresborough’s last bank – the Halifax based in the Market Square – has been earmarked for closure by the banking group. The closure falls hot on the heels of other bank closures in Knaresborough including Santander, Barclays, HSBC, Yorkshire Bank and Natwest. It will leave a town with a population of over 15,000 people without a bank.
The plans are outlined in a document published by the Halifax today. The closure date is 13 May 2020 and identify Harrogate and Wetherby as alternative branches. The bank claims that usage is down 10 per cent on the previous year.
Mr Jones commented: “This is disappointing news from the Halifax. They are closing the last bank in town following an internal review with no consultation with customers. Knowing that there are often queues outside the Halifax at weekends I do wonder if the people who did the review have any first-hand experience of the branch.”
When the branch closes the Halifax has also announced that they intend to close the bank machine too.
Mr Jones continued: “The closure notice highlights that there are only two other bank machines nearby – next to Sainsburys at the bus station and Tescos on the High Street. Beyond that you have to go to a petrol station quite a way out of the town centre or Starbeck. Every Wednesday there is market day. Many of Knaresborough markets traders only take cash payments. This is a slap in the face to those traders.
“They also cite the Post Office as a place where people can perform certain functions that they would undertake in the bank. But the post office has a small number of counters to serve a population of over 15,000. It simply isn’t adequate”
Concluding Mr Jones said: “I want the top brass at the Halifax to know just what a problem this is going to cause and to rethink their closure plans. I have written to the bank’s Managing Director, Mr Russell Galley, asking him to meet me as soon as possible.”