Fears for future of high streets as Lloyds announces bank branch closures

Lloyds is to close two Fylde coast branches
Lloyds is to close two Fylde coast branches

Concerns have been raised for the future of Fylde coast high streets following the announcement two more banks are to close.

Lloyds is to shut branches in Whitegate Drive, Blackpool and in Poulton Street, Kirkham.

The two banks will shut in May.

The move from Lloyds comes just days after HSBC revealed it is to shut its branch in Birley Street, Blackpool.

Yorkshire Building Society and Yorkshire Bank are closing branches in Cleveleys

Lloyds insists customers will still be able to use post office counters or other nearby branches to carry out their business.

But fears have been raised the move will take more footfall away from already struggling high streets.

A spokesman for Lloyds, which was bailed out by the Government in 2008, said: “We have made the difficult decision to close these branches because of the changing way customers choose to bank with us, which has resulted in customers using these branches less often.

“The majority of customers also now regularly use alternative branches or use other ways to bank such as online and telephone banking to complete their banking needs.

“We also have another branch close to Whitegate Drive, located at Corporation Street, which allows us to serve the local area.

“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause and have informed customers of the closest alternative branches.”

But Coun Liz Oades, who represents Kirkham South on Fylde Council fears bank closures will drive others out of business.

She said: “It’s bad news to see banks closing.

“We have already lost three banks in the town and this is another.

“We’ve an out of town supermarket and I’m worried there are going to be fewer and fewer reasons for people to visit the high street.

“It will have a knock on effect on other businesses.”