The Mayor of Alford has expressed her ‘deep disappointment’ following Lloyds Bank’s proposal to close its branch in Alford - the last bank in the town.
Chairman of Alford Town Council and ELDC councillor for Alford ward, Coun Sarah Devereux, spoke out last week following the announcement that 49 branches of Lloyds Bank are set to close across the country - including three branches in East Lindsey.
Coun Devereux joined Mablethorpe Mayor Coun Tony Mee, ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland, and local MP Victoria Atkins in speaking out against the proposed closures in Alford, Mablethorpe and Coningsby, which are due to take place in the autumn.
Coun Devereux said: “I was deeply disappointed to hear the news about the proposed closure.
“Alford has already lost its Barclays Bank and we hear that Lloyd’s Bank are also threatening closure of its Branch in the town.
“This will have a huge impact on our residents many of whom rely on the banking services.
“Our rural towns face many challenges and rely on local services being available and a local bank has always been considered as one. Alford also serves the smaller villages that surround the town so the impact from the proposed closure will be far reaching. Many of our residents rely on the face to face customer service that having a local branch provides, especially our more vulnerable members of the community. To expect everyone to access banking services online is not practical or appropriate.
“To see a large high street bank withdraw from our rural high street sends out a very negative and damaging message.
“It is infuriating to watch Lloyd’s advertising campaign quote the strap line ‘By Your Side’. Clearly that only counts if you live in more urban areas, as it definitely does not ring true for us living in the rural market town of Alford.”
Lloyds Bank said it had made the ‘difficult decision’ to close the Alford branch in just six months time - October 23 - due to their customers using the branch less often, and using ‘alternative’ ways to bank.
Figures provided by Lloyds suggest that counters at the Alford branch are now 18 per cent quieter than a year ago, and that there are only 28 customers who use the branch on a regular weekly basis, and 409 customers who use it on a regular monthly basis.
Figures also show that the branch has 74% fewer personal customers than a ‘typical’ Lloyds Bank branch, and 54% fewer business customers.
Lloyds also added that one of their ‘new mobile branches’ will visit the Alford area after the branch has closed, but there was no indication as to how often these visits will be.