STUDLEY residents have reacted with anger after plans to close the village’s last remaining bank were announced.
The news comes less than two weeks after the HSBC branch shut its doors for the last time and the closure of Lloyds Bank on Alcester Road will leave the village bank-less.
Despite a petition with 578 signatures and the backing of the Parish Council, Studley’s HSBC branch closed on April 15. Now the village’s Lloyds is due to close on July 27.
District councillor Hazel Wright (Lib Dem, Studley with Sambourne), said she would be ‘seeking the advice’ of The Campaign for Community Banking Services which was set up to fight closure.
“Leaving Studley without a bank is another nail in the coffin for residents and businesses,” she said.
“Banks seem to have no regard to the inconvenience and cost to residents, nor do they seem to consider the damage to the sustainability of businesses.”
Coun Wright said she was particularly concerned by the news as she had received a letter from Lloyds Bank, dated January 26 2016 advising her that while it ‘could not be guaranteed’ the Studley branch would ‘never be highlighted for closure’, it ‘currently hasn’t been marked to be closed in the foreseeable future’.
Studley resident Franziska Empl Buchanan, who started the HSBC petition, said the news on Lloyds was very disappointing but not unexpected’.
“One of the fears about HSBC closing was that other businesses would follow suit, in particular Lloyds, and it hasn’t taken long for this to come to fruition,” she said.
Another resident, Rick Williams added: “It seems the banks want everyone to go to Internet banking but some people don’t like to do that.
“It was very handy having a bank in the village when you’re paying in petty cash and you don’t want to carry it to Alcester or Redditch.”
A spokesperson for Lloyds Bank said: “We have made the difficult decision to close this branch in July because of changing customer behaviours, resulting in customers using it less often.”