Shock closure of bank ‘severe blow’ to Bingley

Bingley Chamber of Trade chairman Howard Martin

Bingley Chamber of Trade chairman Howard Martin

First published in News

The shock closure of the Yorkshire Bank in Bingley is another blow to the town’s economic recovery, say businessmen, and also means customers wanting personal service will have travel to Bradford or Keighley.

The Main Street branch already stands beside two empty shop fronts and it too will close its doors on September 4, as part of a shake-up which means 28 branches of Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks, also including one in Toller Lane, Bradford, will shut “Unsustainable branches will close; the majority as a result of lease break review points,” said a Yorkshire Bank spokesman.

“The associated £5 million savings will be fully reinvested in improving the remaining branch network.”

Regular Yorkshire Bank customer Ian Hellewell, of Wilsden, said the loss of the Bingley branch would be a severe blow to the town.

"My main branch is in Bradford and that means driving and parking costs if I have to go in there, so obviously I prefer the local branch,” said credit manager Mr Hellewell, 60.

“Savings in travel actually add value to my business and if Bingley is trying to attract new businesses it needs to provide real financial services.

“Although we can bank on-line, there’s always going to be the need to see someone in person.”

Bingley Chamber of Trade chairman Howard Martin said the branch closure would weaken the town.

“Of course we can do things on-line, but this is a sad day for Bingley,” he said.

“Yorkshire Bank, as its name implies, has been a traditional, very approachable bank and people in the town have banked there for decades. This it the loss of another business amenity.”

Shipley MP Philip Davies, whose constituency includes Bingley, said he was concerned at the planned closure: “This is serious news and I shall be getting in touch with the bank about it.

“And it is all the more urgent to get Sainsbury’s to do something about the B&B building so we can get on with the full regeneration of Bingley.

“I will be meeting with Sainsbury’s soon.”

Rob Macgregor, national officer for the Unite union, said: “The bank is cutting costs and eroding community banking, which we believe leaves customers with less choice .

“Unite will oppose compulsory redundancies and we expect the company to do everything possible to make redeployment an option and allow workers to move to neighbouring branches wherever possible.”

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