Community leaders will challenge bank bosses over the closure of two vital branches.
Lloyds have confirmed that its branches in Oswaldtwistle and Great Harwood will close in May due to a rise in online banking and customers ‘regularly’ using other branches.
The decision means that there will now be NO banks left in either town and residents will have to either use the Post Office for personal services or travel to Accrington.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones is arranging a meeting with bank bosses to discuss the decision, saying that the closure of the branches will be a loss to customers and employees alike.
He said: “I will be meeting with Lloyds as soon as possible to establish the reasons for the decision, its impact on customers and staff, and why there had been no warning of the announcement.”
The Great Harwood branch will close on May 22 with the Oswaldtwistle branch closing on May 24.
Lloyds first announced the bank closures at the end of January.
Oswaldtwistle councillor Peter Britcliffe said the closure of the branch in the town was ‘dreadful news’.
Speaking at a recent area forum meeting, he said: “This will be a major blow to business who rely on change etc and for residents who still go in banks.”
Gayle Knight, creative director of the Civic Arts Centre, also told the meeting: “We’ve spoken to the bank about banking at the Post Office and they don’t accept business accounts. It’s going to be an absolute nightmare.”
Great Harwood councillor Gareth Molineux said it was ‘absurd’, and he said he will urge the council to write to Lloyds to change their mind.
However, Lloyds said they have followed industry protocols over the closures.
A spokesperson said: “Our colleagues are always the first to know when we decide to close a branch, after which we inform customers, the local MP and councillors.
“Between now and the closure date, we will engage with our customers, local businesses and the wider local community to make sure they are aware of the alternative ways of accessing their banking with us in the local area, and to answer any questions they might have.
“We are currently arranging a meeting with Mr Jones and look forward to meeting him to listen to his concerns about the closures.”
Residents and shoppers will still be able to use ATMs at local supermarkets in both towns.