OUTRAGED residents in Tetbury and surrounding villages warned that the closure of Lloyds in the town could result in many withdrawing from the bank.
Following the announcement earlier this month that Lloyds will be closing its branch in Tetbury as early as July, the town council called for an emergency public meeting on Tuesday, April 18.
Residents were angry that yet another bank will be closing in the town. Over the past few years, HSBC and Barclays had shut its doors in Tetbury, with HSBC leaving the town in December 2015.
According to residents, most people in the town now use Lloyds after the closure of the two banks.
Residents will each be sending letters to Lloyds to protest against the closure of the Tetbury’s only high street bank.
In the emergency meeting held earlier this week, residents said they felt deceived, saying that some had switched to Lloyds after the closure of HSBC following promises that the bank would not close in the town.
Deputy mayor Kevin Painter said he was “disgusted” by the decision and suggested that residents withdraw from the bank in protest.
(Deputy mayor Kevin Painter speaking to a resident after the emergency meeting)
There were concerns that the closure of the high street bank would discourage people from shopping in the town and create problems for elderly bank users who do not own a car.
The closure would also be problematic for businesses and schools, including Sir William Romney’s School, which uses Lloyds for petty cash.
Town resident Lesley Brain, who had recently become a Lloyd’s bank customer, however said she was “still quite comfortable to be with Lloyds” despite news of its branch closure.
Lesley, who had previously been using Coutts, a private bank with few offices across the country, said: “I know nothing about running a business or a school, but as a private individual, I have never been into a branch.
“It is perfectly possible to bank without having a bank branch. Online banking is the way the world is going.
“I think we should prepare ourselves for what is to come. That will include teaching elderly people about internet banking.”
Cllr Painter agreed with the suggestion but said that the town should also make efforts to resist the closure: “We should be hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.”
Others resisted the idea of online banking, saying that there was a question of security and that the purpose of banks was also to give monetary advice. They called for a smaller bank to replace Lloyds and provide the town with fundamental banking services.
Town mayor Stephen Hirst said that the town council had considered appealing to other banks and have written to Santander in the hope that they will engage in talks.
Tetbury Town Council will be soon be releasing a letter to be sent to Lloyds and is encouraging all concerned residents to send a copy of this letter to their bank to protest against the branch’s closure.
It is not the first time a Lloyds branch has closed in the Cotswold area. The bank also announced that it would be closing its Bourton-on-the-Water branch and had closed its Fairford branch just five months ago.
The closed branches will be replaced with a mobile service which will operate on selected week days.