It seems a shame for my first article for the fantastic new Heatons Post to focus on something negative, but I’m sure many of you will already have read about the decision to close the Lloyds branch in Reddish, leaving the town without a bank.
This is obviously really disappointing news and I’m doing what I can to try to make Lloyds reverse this damaging decision, but unfortunately it’s a symptom of a much wider problem. Across the country, banks are closing branches and often they’re closing them in the areas that need them most, for example areas with high deprivation or isolated rural areas. As an MP, I spend a lot of time in London and I can tell you that they’re not closing them down there.
My constituency of Denton and Reddish will be down to just 2 bank branches once Lloyds is closed. Cities of London and Westminster – the constituency including parliament – has 116.
It is often those who are older or poorer who rely more on in-branch services. They may not have access to the internet or may not trust internet banking – both of these are completely understandable and I wish that our banking sector would take account of this. Instead we all too often find banks putting profits before people.
It’s not just ordinary customers who are let down by short-sighted branch closures – our thriving small businesses also often rely on being able to go into a branch to use banking services. These businesses are such an important part of our communities and I’d like to see more recognition of this from banks.
Luckily, there is still a NatWest in Heaton Chapel, but this alone is not enough for our communities – Reddish needs a bank!