Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley recently met with senior officials of Santander to discuss the closure of the branch on Castle Street in Clitheroe. Mr Evans, who has been a vocal critic of banks retreating from the countryside, arranged an urgent meeting upon hearing planned closure in April.
In January, Santander announced the closure of 140 branches across the UK which they blamed on "changes in how customers are choosing to carry out their banking". Clitheroe will be among the first to close its doors on 25th April, with a stream of closures lasting until mid-December.
During the meeting Mr Evans reinforced how important high street banks are to rural communities, particularly the elderly who will now have to travel over 11 miles to their nearest Santander.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said:
“Rural banks are at the very heart of their communities, the Ribble Valley has seen more than its fair share of branches close over the last three years leaving many customers having to travel to Blackburn or Burnley to do their banking. I appreciate that banking transactions are increasingly online, but some services are still exclusively in-branch.”
“I am disappointed that the closure will be going ahead, and will continue to voice my opposition to all closures of rural branches. I strongly encourage all those affected to head to their local Post Office for everyday banking needs such as; cash withdrawals and deposits, balance enquiries and cheque deposits. Whilst this is far from ideal, the most common transactions can still be done face-to-face. I hope to see an expansion of the banking services available in Post Offices in the near future.”
Everyday banking transactions from most UK banks can be carried out at any Post Office, more information can be found using the following link: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/everydaybanking