Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 2 December 2021
A MOTION which was put forward by Hinckley’s Lib Dems to save high street bank branches from future closures has been approved by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.
As we reported on Sunday, Borough Councillors, Michael Mullaney and Ann Pendlebury, announced that they were putting a motion forward which would call on the Government to give the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) more powers to stop banks from closing branches without ‘adequate’ alternatives.
Coun. Pendlebury slammed Santander and Halifax for recently closing their Hinckley high street branches – and said that bank branch closures are hitting ‘some of the most vulnerable’ people in society.
It was debated in front of the Borough Council on Tuesday night (30 November) and was backed by councillors from the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party.
The motion received backing from Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council itself.
But, some local Conservative councillors tried to vote against it during the debate – however, they were unsuccessful in stopping it from going ahead.
Somewhat ironically, on the same day the Tories voted against it, Scottish banking firm, TSB, revealed their plans to shut 70 branches.
TSB cited the same reasoning for their closures as the same reason that Hinckley lost their Santander branch in July and Halifax branch in October for – online banking.
After the debate, Mullaney took to his official Twitter account to thank the councillors in the meeting who had voted in favour of his and Councillor Pendlebury’s motion.
He further added that he was ‘really disappointed’ that the Tories voted against it, as Hinckley has many elderly residents who are dependent on the town’s bank branches.
But, Mullaney told the Free Press that he was ‘delighted’ that the motion was passed and that it will help to protect the remaining bank branches in town centres.
Coun. Ann Pendlebury, said: “I’m really pleased that the motion to ask this Government to give more controls to the FCA to protect our banks from closure was passed by an overwhelming majority at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.
“It is vital to our elderly and those who struggle whether through mental or physical health or poverty, that services such as these are protected.
“We need to put people before profit and protect the most vulnerable in our society from exclusion and disenfranchisement.
“I only hope that this government chooses to help those most in need.”
Elmesthorpe resident and locally-famous author, Stewart Bint, explained that he welcomes the motion and is relieved that it has been passed.
He said: “Anything that may result in financial institutions putting customers first, is to be welcomed.
“We’ve lost enough local branches through banks not caring about their customers’ needs.
“Not everyone is tech-savvy. Many customers, in particular the elderly, still rely on face to face service.”