Andrew Jones MP
Andrew Jones MP

Andrew Jones MP calls for Knaresborough bank closure halt

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Knaresborough has reacted angrily to news that Knaresborough’s last bank – the Halifax based in the 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 and 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 .  Every Wednesday there is 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.”


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4 Comments

  1. Considering that Mr Jones’ is a member of the Government that owns the Halifax he would be more effective to take it up with the Treasury than make pointless statements to the general public.

  2. Dear Mr Andrew Jones
    Thankyou for your concern re the imminent closure of the Halifax branch in Knaresborough. I cannot understand the thinking of Mr Russell Galley. The town is expanding vastly and there is a large population of elderly of which I am one. I have found the staff so helpful, kind and understanding and I was so grateful for the help I received when, and since, my husband died I would not have coped without face to face contact. There are many residents who are disabled and some who have learning difficulties and need the face to face contact with staff. It can take 2 hours out of your day travelling by bus to Harrogate and back without carrying out your business. Knaresborough is a town in its own right not a suburb of Harrogate and Wetherby. I hope Mr Russell Galley will reverse his decision when he meets you and knows all the facts.
    Kind regards
    Carolyn Henderson

  3. Dear Mr Jones

    On behalf of Knaresborough Chamber of Trade and the residents of Knaresborough, many thanks for your support on this. The decision has far reaching economic, social and environmental consequences for our town and the number of people who have signed our online petition just goes to show the strength of feeling on this.

    We also wonder about the validity of the data used in the report, given that branch opening hours have been systematically reduced and the ATM is frequently out of use. Halifax Bank have also failed to capitalise on the commercial opportunities of being the last bank in a town of our size.

    Kind regards

    Knaresborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce
    https://www.change.org/Save-Last-Bank-Knaresborough

  4. Dear Mr Jones
    I am very upset to find out that the Halfax branch in knaresborough is closing. How they can say that the branch is under used is ridiculous, I have never been in when the branch is empty. The cash machine is one of the busiest in town. I hope you will be able to push for a change of plan.

    Yours sincerely Margaret Cooper.

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