Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 21 October 2021
HINCKLEY’S HIGH STREET has suffered a hammer blow today (21 October), as the town centre Halifax bank, located in Market Place, served customers for the last time this afternoon and closed their doors for good.
It marks the second bank to close in the town centre this year, following the closure of Santander on Castle Street which closed two months and three weeks ago on 29 July.
The closure has not came as a shock, though, as back on 23 June, Halifax had collated a list of all of their locations that would be lost this year – and Hinckley’s location was listed, where it was confirmed 21 October would mark the last day of operation.
The Free Press then approached a spokesperson for the banking firm to find out the reasoning behind it – and they cited customers using online banking tools and other local branches, like Nuneaton, as the reasoning behind the closure.
Halifax further revealed that 73 per cent of personal customers in Hinckley already use another branch, bank online, or use telephone banking.
38 per cent of Halifax’s personal customers already use other branches, like Nuneaton.
A spokesperson further added that customers can continue banking locally by using the Post Office – with a nearby one being based inside of Castle Street’s WHSmith.
Many residents have expressed their concerns over the closure, as have Hinckley’s Liberal Democrats, who are aiming to collect signatures from local people to ensure that no more town centre banks face the axe in future times.
Coun. Michael Mullaney (Lib Dem, De Montfort), described the closure as “really sad” and “disappointing”, adding that banks are “important” community facilities to lose.
He said: “This is really sad news. Banks are important community facilities to lose this one in Hinckley is really disappointing.
“It’s one of 44 closing nationwide. It’s time to protect bank branches from closures.
“I and local Lib Dem colleagues have consigned a letter to the chancellor calling on more action to protect local branches. Many customers without internet access depend on bank branches.”
Our readers have had their say on the matter, sharing their opinions on social media with us.
One reader, Joseph, described the town as “crumbling” following recent closures – Hinckley lost their Santander branch back on 29 July.
He said: “The town is crumbling everything is closed or closing its getting really bad now.”
Our Nuneaton reporter, Vaughan Moore, described it as a “shame” for those who rely on face-to-face interaction with banking staff, and said that town centres and town centre visitors have been ‘hit hard’ by bank closures.
Vaughan said: “Its a shame for those that rely on a face-to-face interaction at the banks.
“The new banking apps prove to be helpful from home, but there is a big demand for high street banking branches and these closures keep hitting towns and town-goers hard.”
Adam Toms raised concerns that some people may have access to their finances ‘hindered’ as a result of the closure.
He said: “After the closure of the town’s Santander branch, another closure may hinder the accessibility of some to their finances.
“Profits may be up because online banking, but some (e.g. older people) still depend on local branches. I doubt they’ll relish the trip to Nuneaton or wherever.”