Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 4 September 2022
SOUTH LEICESTERSHIRE MP Alberto Costa has shown frustration over the news that Blaby’s high street branch of banking giant Nationwide is to close in November.
This comes after Nationwide revealed that they will be closing the doors to their Blaby village centre store in The Forge Corner for the last time on Thursday, 24 November.
Nationwide announced the news over the branch closure just months after Lloyds Bank revealed their intention to close their bank branch over in Lutterworth, with Mr. Costa expressing his concerns about the lack of banking services in rural areas.
Alberto was informed by Nationwide that the village’s branch will be closing because of a ‘steep decline’ in footfall, with the building society stating that less 3 per cent of the branch’s members use the services in Blaby regularly.
Now, Alberto has explained that he is ‘extremely disappointed’ at the decision. In fact, he has made it known that he will be arranging an urgent meeting to be held with Nationwide to discuss the reasoning behind the closure.
And, he will aim to find out what measures are being put in place to assist local people once it does close for good.
In a statement, Alberto stated: “I am extremely disappointed to hear of Nationwide’s plans to close their branch in Blaby. This closure comes very quickly after the recent announcement from Lloyds to close their branch in Lutterworth.
“This highlights the unacceptable lack of services the major banks are offering their customers, and especially my constituents, living in rural areas.
“I hope to meet with Nationwide very soon to discuss their reasoning for closing the branch in Blaby, but also to ask what assistance they will be providing to my constituents to help with the transition of the closure.”
He further added that whilst Covid has seen a decline in footfall for both banks and building societies, it is ‘not good enough’ for constituents who do not feel comfortable online banking, or travelling to other high streets just to use an in-person service.
He concluded: “Given the recent raft of bank and building society closures across the country, I will be taking this matter up with the new Prime Minister and Chancellor and do hope to hold a debate on rural banking services later this year to highlight the concerns of my constituents”.
Alberto is not the only politician stressed at seeing local bank branches closures.
Council Leader Bray is aiming to make sure that Barclays remain part of the town in some capacity, even with a potential ‘banking hub’ to maintain an in-person presence.
And, Coun. Michael Mullaney has even been very vocal about Barclays closing, dubbing it a “huge blow” to the local community. He has even taken to the high street to collect signatures in order to try and save bank branches from further closures.