Bank closures anger customers

PUBLISHED: 15:13 24 September 2010

The Halifax Bank in Melbourn Street is due to close on October 2

The Halifax Bank in Melbourn Street is due to close on October 2

Archant

RESIDENTS of Crow Country have expressed their disapproval at the closure of the Halifax Bank in Melbourn Street, which will make its last transaction on October 2.

To add more difficulty to bankers, Nationwide Building Society in Baldock Street is due to close on December 31.

Halifax customers will now have to travel to either Cambridge or Letchworth for their nearest branches, which is closing its Royston branch as it is “no longer integral to its business model.”

One unhappy customer said: “I am currently making plans to move banks, as I’m in and out of there a lot during the week and it’s not convenient for me to get to Letchworth or Cambridge.

“It’s a real pain to have to sort this out. I wish they would think of the customer but they make too much money I suppose.”

Lavinia Edwards, who has saved at Halifax since she was a child, said: “I will be transferring my account without a doubt. It’s convenient to pop in there at lunch time.

“The last thing I want to be doing at the weekend is having to travel anywhere just to pay a cheque in or something.”

Mrs Camps of Sandon, said: “It’s very annoying. This has been here for years and I’m used to it. I never go to Letchworth, so how will I bank?”

The Nationwide building society in Royston will close, along with the Buntingford branch, to encourage customers to “focus on the internet and other means” to bank.

Nationwide’s nearest branches are now in either Letchworth or Biggleswade.

One customer expressed her disproval at the closure by saying: “I don’t think it’s fair at all. Going to Letchworth just to do a simple thing like go to a bank is ridiculous.

“With the one in Buntingford closing as well, it puts people in Royston in a difficult situation, with no consultation at all.”

Jordan Drury, a Nationwide customer, said: “The hassle it will cause me will make me think about changing my account.

“I can’t drive yet and the buses are infrequent, so it will be a nightmare just to get to the bank.”

A resident of Buntingford has gone to the length of starting a petition to stop the closure of their Nationwide bank.

Finance manager Lynne Williams has been collecting signatures in the town since she heard the news, and said: “Closing something like this affects the whole community.

“Online and telephone banking, put forward by the building society as alternatives, are not realistic for the majority of elderly people.”

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