Bank Closures

Latest update: Although we were not successful in halting the closure of the two Yorkshire Bank branches in Chadderton and Royton we did secure a commitment to maintain cash machines in those towns.

Nationally I will be campaigning to bring forward a legal requirement for community access to bank counters across all main banks

Recently Yorkshire Bank announced the closure of branches in Royton and Chadderton. This move formed part of a plan to close 79 branches, with a total loss of over 400 jobs. It has been described as the largest ever single closure of banks.

The announcement follows closures to Natwest and Co-operative bank branches in Chadderton, and closures to Halifax, Barclays, Natwest and HSBC in Royton. This will leave only one Bank branch – – Lloyds in Royton – open in the area.

Ahead of the closures the Bank stated “we are seeing a transformation in the way that customers bank with us, with the number of bank transactions falling year on year. Customers will be able to do all of their banking at any Yorkshire Bank branch, and they will also be able to access telephone, internet or mobile banking”.

But consumer organisations such as the Campaign for Community Banking Services have pointed towards the negative effects that branch closures have on communities and disadvantaged groups, such as the elderly.

Research recently published by the House of Commons highlights that closing bank branches may in the future lead to increased financial exclusion. The research also suggested that when a branch closes there is an immediate and negative effect on small businesses, footfall in local high streets, and the potential for new businesses starting up.

Last year BBC News reported that an estimated 650 branches of big banks closed between 2015 and the end of 2016.

But not all banks are moving towards closing branches. For example ‘Metro Bank’ strives to be different in its approach to running branches, or ‘stores’.

I am extremely disappointed that Yorkshire Bank have taken the decision to close this crucial service. The loss of branches in Royton and Chadderton is a huge blow, not just for local residents but to the high street and area as a whole.

I understand that national evidence points towards a trend in people moving away from traditional forms of banking and towards online banking. However, I know first-hand from family, friends and constituents how important the Royton and Chadderton branches are to local residents.

Not everyone has access to online banking, and not everyone can travel the extra distance to the Oldham branch. For many residents – for example the elderly, disabled people or those who can’t afford internet access – being able to go into a local branch on a regular basis is the only way for them to properly manage their finances.

Although Yorkshire Bank are just one of several to close their doors in recent years, we can’t escape the reality that this will leave many at risk of financial exclusion. Ultimately the ability of people to properly manage their money, at a time when many people’s incomes are being drastically squeezed, is being jeopardised by the profit driven interests of the banks.

Banks in Chadderton and Royton

Chadderton

Banks closed

  • NatWest (Westwood)
  • Cooperative Bank
  • Yorkshire Bank*

Banks remaining

  • Post Office (Post Office Money/Bank of Ireland UK)

Royton

Banks closed

  • Barclays Bank
  • HSBC
  • NatWest Bank
  • Cooperative Bank
  • Yorkshire Bank*

Banks remaining

  • Lloyds
  • Post Office (Post Office Money/Bank of Ireland UK)

* Yorkshire Bank has committed to maintaining free to use cash machines in the town centres of Chadderton and Royton

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