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Calls for community banking hub in Pudsey following Halifax closure announcement

A Pudsey councillor has called for a ‘banking hub’ to be established in Pudsey following this week’s announcement that Halifax will be closing its branch later this year.

Councillor Trish Smith (Pudsey Ward) said the news that Halifax will be closing its Pudsey branch in November would come as a blow for customers who haven’t made the switch to internet banking, as well as affecting footfall on the high street.

She, along with fellow Tory Amanda Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) said different options should be considered to keep high street banking alive, including a “banking hub” model, where banks share a space to provide community banking services.

Cllr Smith said: “This is hugely concerning news for Pudsey. Residents will lose easy access to banking services, and there will also be a knock on effect on the vitality of the high street at a time when we’re trying to encourage people to shop locally. Unfortunately it’s a familiar story and we are losing banks left, right, and centre in our area of the city.

“I’d like to see whether it would be viable to have a “banking hub” in Pudsey. This is where basic banking services including counter services run by the major banks and the Post Office are provided from one location, with dedicated rooms where customers can see community bankers from their own bank for more complicated matters that require specialist knowledge or privacy. There have been a number of trials of this elsewhere in the country. The existing Halifax building itself would be ideal.

“Despite the moves towards a cashless society there are still many people who simply don’t want to bank online and prefer the traditional option of a high street bank. We will keep making the case for community banking and I hope we’ll be able to maintain this vital option for those that still rely on it in Pudsey.”

Councillor Amanda Carter added: “It is sad to hear of yet another bank serving the local community in Pudsey now set to close. Nat West, Barclays and HSBC have already shut their doors, and while there are other banks, the Halifax building is easier to access for disabled people. 

“We are going to fight to keep banking alive in Pudsey for local people to use. There are a number of options to explore including asking the government to consider legislating to support local people who want to bank locally.”

Earlier this week Halifax announced it will close 15 branches across the UK – including its branch in Pudsey.

The move is part of 44 branch closures announced by Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland.

A Halifax spokesperson said: “The world is becoming more digital than ever before and more of our customers are doing their everyday banking online. 

“With more customers choosing to use digital ways to bank and manage their money, visits at this branch have fallen. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to close it.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Politician not knowing what they are talking about! A banking hub is for communities that have no banks left. People of Pudsey can simply switch to other banks, eg Santander, which is wheelchair accessible.

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