Knaresborough MP calls plans to close town's last bank a "slap in the face" for residents

Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has reacted to news that Knaresborough’s last bank – the Halifax based in the Market Square – has been earmarked for closure by the banking group.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 4:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 4:10 pm

The closure falls hot on the heels of other bank closures in Knaresborough including Santander, Barclays, HSBC, Yorkshire Bank and Natwest.

It will leave the town, which has a population of over 15,000 people, without a bank.

Halifax has announced it is planning to close its Knaresborough branch in May.

The plans are outlined in a document published by Halifax yesterday, Wednesday.

The closure date is May 13 and the report identifies Harrogate and Wetherby as alternative branches.

The bank claims that usage is down 10 per cent on the previous year.

Mr Jones said: “This is disappointing news from Halifax. They are closing the last bank in town following an internal review with no consultation with customers.

“Knowing that there are often queues outside Halifax at weekends I do wonder if the people who did the review have any first-hand experience of the branch.”

Halifax has also announced it intends to close the cash machine when the branch closes.

Mr Jones added: “The closure notice highlights that there are only two other bank machines nearby – next to Sainsburys at the bus station and Tesco on the High Street.

“Beyond that you have to go to a petrol station quite a way out of the town centre or Starbeck. Every Wednesday is market day. Many of Knaresborough markets traders only take cash payments. This is a slap in the face to those traders.

“They also cite the Post Office as a place where people can perform certain functions that they would undertake in the bank. But the post office has a small number of counters to serve population of over 15,000. It simply isn’t adequate.

“I want the top brass at the Halifax to know just what a problem this is going to cause and to rethink their closure plans.”

Mr Jones said he has written to Halifax’s Managing Director, Russell Galley, asking him for a meeting.