Councillors urge Hinckley residents to sign petition to stop future closures of banks and cashpoints

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 3 October 2021

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT Councillors in Hinckley have joined over 122,000 people in signing a petition to try and save bank branches from future closures – and now they are urging other Hinckley and Bosworth residents to back the petition.

Using a cashpoint (Image: Pexels)

The petition is addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP (Con, Richmond, Yorks), and calls on the Government to ‘take action’ and stop the closure of cashpoints and bank branches.

Coun. Mullaney: ‘Many will lose out’

Coun. Michael Mullaney (Lib Dem, Hinckley De Montfort), has said that Hinckley have already had to endure the closure of Santander, and Halifax, which is set to close on 21 October later this month – and that the town do not want to lose anymore.

He further added: “Many residents who prefer to bank in person or struggle banking online will lose out if more bank branches are closed and cash machines removed.

“I hope the Government will listen and take action to help keep the bank branches that are left”.

Internet banking privacy concerns

Coun. David Bill (Lib Dem, Hinckley Clarendon) stated that many who rely on using high street brick-and-mortar banking locations are not familiar with online banking.

He said: “I know that the argument is that people are accessing bank information services online, but there are still many of us who do not use computers.

“There really is no substitute for being able to talk things through face to face especially when discussing a personal or sensitive matter”.

Reason for Santander’s closure

Santander has been shut since 29 July, where they permanently pulled the shutters down to their bank branch on Castle Street in Hinckley town centre with 110 other locations across England.

A Santander spokesperson told the Free Press that ‘35 per cent of customers banking at another Santander branch’, and ‘90 per cent of Hinckley residents have already been using additional ways to complete their banking’.

The move was not well received by Coun. David Bill, who slammed the plans and had personally penned a letter to Santander bosses expressing his ‘personal resent’, urging them to reconsider.

Halifax closing later this month

Halifax, which are closing in late October, said that their Hinckley customer’s accounts will be ‘realigned’ locally over to the Nuneaton location, on Abbey Street, which would not affect the way that accounts are managed.

Halifax stated similar figures for the proposed closure with 73 per cent of customers using other branches, banking online, or mobile banking.

‘Resentment’ about using Nuneaton banks

In Councillor Bill’s letter, which he had written in April, a month after Santander’s proposed closure plans, he exclaimed that there ‘will be resentment’ about travelling over to Nuneaton, as “transport is not that easy for everyone”.

Where to sign

Residents wishing to sign the petition to keep Hinckley’s high street banks in the town centre can sign the petition on the 38 Degrees website, which has a total of 122,828 signatures at the time of publication (3 October).

The link to sign can be found here.

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