CUSTOMERS have slammed the decision to close a bank in Stroud town centre.
This news follows the previous closure of Barclays Bank, in King Street, in January.
Now Halifax Bank, located in Kendrick Street, says it will also be closing on Wednesday, November 30.
“We have made the difficult decision to close this branch because customers are using it less often,” read a statement from Halifax Bank.
“In addition the majority of customers are also using alternative ways to bank.
“We’ll continue to invest in our branch network, but we have to make sure our branches are where customers need and use them most.”
Reaction from customers
Customers in Stroud are however not impressed.
“High street banks are an important part of the community,” said Sally Walters, who lives in Chalford Hill.
“Whenever I visit the Halifax there is always a queue of people with different banking issues.
“Not everything can be done online and often a visit to the bank is what you are told to do when speaking to the online team.
“I am self employed and need a high street bank.
I get paid with cheques and often have an issue paying them on the phone.”
Another resident, who lives just outside the town centre, equally berated the decision.
“I have been using Halifax since I arrived in Stroud in 2007,” said Jane Donovan.
“I know all the staff by name – they are friendly and welcoming and we often have a laugh.
“I don’t do online banking – it’s not my thing.
“When I bought a house recently, two of the staff members Jess and Sophie did the big transfer for me.
“In the run-up to the house purchase and sale of my old house, they were asking me how it was going and offering reassurance.
“I liked the personal touch.”
Stroud’s Chair of Chamber of Trade, Tony Davey, said the closure was regrettable.
“Firstly, we are concerned for the staff who may be impacted by this decision.
“There is a trend amongst banks to reduce opening hours, incentivise customers to use other banking methods, and then declare footfall has dropped and a branch is no longer viable.
“For there to be any other outcome is hard to believe.
“This problem exists across our district and way beyond.
“But banks are essential for those in our communities who are not comfortable using technology or do not have the means to have the technology needed for online transactions.
“Our Post Office network picks up some of that, where banks abandon towns.
“It’s regrettable to see any shop or service that has a positive impact leave the town, and we appreciate that this move will have a negative impact on many.“