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HSBC confirms branch closure
7:00am Saturday 2nd November 2013 in News
DESPITE the best efforts of campaigners, one of Shipston’s major High Street banks is set to close next month.
As previously reported in the Journal, HSBC said it was closing its branch on Friday, November 15, due to a significant fall in customer numbers.
The closure will leave just one cash machine in the town – at Lloyds TSB – while customers wanting to go into an HSBC branch will have to travel to Stratford, Moreton or Banbury.
Residents had hoped the bank would reverse its decision with many writing to head office in protest of the closure.
Councillor Chris Saint, leader of Stratford District Council, wrote twice to the UK chief executive at Canary Wharf and had a meeting with two directors but his arguments fell on deaf ears.
“I described Shipston as a lively centre for business and a growing population that should warrant the continued operation of the branch,” he said.
“Supported by local campaigners and local parishes, I protested that many of the elderly would be distinctly disadvantaged.
“Despite the local population base of 15,000 across seven wards, they confirmed that the bank needs to have its branches in the right places and Shipston was no longer one of them, despite good local arguments to keep the branch open.”
Deputy Mayor Philip Vial said they were immensely disappointed.
“It was fairly clear they had made a decision and there was no prospect of changing their minds,” he said.
“It does protect the Lloyds branch in the town. Lots of local businesses are moving over but it does mean we will see fewer cashpoints as the town is growing.”
He added that HSBC were asked to attend a town council meeting but had declined.
A spokesman for HSBC said: “Our network has to be ‘fit for purpose’ and we have to ensure that our branches are located in areas where they are used.”
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