MP condemns bank branch closures

Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore has condemned recent announcements by Lloyds Bank and Halifax Bank that they plan to close their respective branches in Keighley & Ilkley.

The MP warns the closures will “lead to significant disruption” for customers and urged the Lloyds Banking group to take more action to address the needs of their vulnerable customers.

The news comes after Mr Moore organised a roundtable with local banks in June to understand the scale of disruption caused by recent branch closures in the two towns and to discuss the potential for a centralised “banking hub” for the community.

In response to the impending closures, both banks have committed to providing a community banker in the local areas to support customers after the branches shut down.  

Customers who regularly use the branches will receive a letter with details of alternative ways to bank. As part of this process, we will try to speak to customers who only use the branches to explain the alternatives that will be available to them after the closure happens.

Robbie Moore MP said:  "The closure of these branches will undoubtedly lead to significant disruption for many Lloyds and Halifax customers, particularly those who cannot use digital banking services or may rely on face-to-face contact. According to the banks’ own data, this is around 28% of customers using Halifax’s Ilkley branch and 22% of customers using the Lloyds branch in Keighley.

It is crucial that both Lloyds and Halifax address the needs of their vulnerable customers who depend on physical branches, which is why earlier this month I held a roundtable with banks from across our community, including Lloyds and Halifax, to discuss the merits of setting up a banking hub in our area similar to the hubs set up in Otley and Knaresborough.

Following today’s news, I have made contact with the banks, as well as Link, to ensure customers are supported and their access to physical cash is not negatively impacted. I will also continue pushing for the creation of a banking hub which will benefit customers of all banks, as well as enable more complex transactions to be carried out in person."

Staff at the Ilkley Halifax branch were told on Wednesday morning that it would close in January 2024.