Lloyds Banking Group is to close one of its four remaining branches in Plymouth and three others in the South West in a move that has been condemned by union leaders as ‘inexcusable’. The financial giant is closing 28 branches – 20 Lloyds Bank and eight Halifax – between August and November this year.
They include Devon branches in Plympton and Ilfracombe. Falmouth in Cornwall and Willaton in Somerset. The bank blamed falling customer numbers for having had to make the closures.
The Unite union said 69 workers are affected by the announced closures. National Officer Caren Evans said: “Today’s announcement of the branch closure another for-profit financial institution fails to take into account the needs of consumers and staff beggars. This news is another example of a bank choosing to distance itself from communities that need access to banking services. »
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Unite said more than 5,000 branches of banks and building societies have closed since 2015. Plymouth has lost Lloyds branches in Stoke, Southway, Mutley Plain, Wolseley Road and Raleigh Street in the city centre. After the Plympton branch closes in September, there will only be three Lloyds branches left in the city: Royal Parade, Plymstock and St Budeaux.
In a statement on the Lloyds website, the company said: “We are constantly transforming our branch network in response to changing customer demand for branch transactions and services. Sometimes that means we make the difficult decision to permanently close a branch.
“When we decide to close a branch, we consider a number of factors to help us understand the impact on our customers and the local community, including ways customers can continue to access banking services. For all permanent closure decisions, we follow the UK Finance Access to Banking Standard.
Lloyds Banking Group – which owns Lloyds, Halifax and Royal Bank of Scotland – said each of the affected branches had an ATM or free post office within a mile and stressed that the services Online and mobile banking continued to grow as branch usage declined.
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The company said that on average, visits to the 28 branches that are closing have fallen by 60% since 2016. The company said it now has 18.6 million regular online banking customers and more than 15 million mobile app users.
The latest announced closures mean the banking group will have closed 88 branches by the end of 2022. Unite’s Ms Evans said: “The actions of Lloyds Banking Group over the past few months are totally inexcusable. The management let down the customers and their dedicated staff.
“These closures will leave some customers more than 10 miles from their nearest bank branch. It is a betrayal of some of the most vulnerable, elderly and socially excluded people in our communities who need local access to community banking services.
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