Wed, 17 Aug 2016
PANGBOURNE is to lose its last bank later this year.
Lloyds will close its branch on November 9. The bank said it had made the difficult decision because of changing banking trends.
A spokesperson for Lloyds said: “This branch has been identified for closure because of the changing way customers choose to bank with us, which has resulted in customers using it less often.
“The majority of customers also now regularly use alternative branches or other ways to bank, such as online and telephone banking, to complete their banking needs.
“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause and have informed customers of the closest alternative branch, which is Tilehurst.”
Pangbourne is one victim of the bank’s accelerated job-cutting and branch-closing scheme.
Lloyds, which is about 10 per cent owned by the tax-payer, is cutting 3,000 staff and closing 200 branches; on top of the 9,000 redundancies and 200 branch closures announced in 2014.
Pangbourne’s district councillor Pamela Bale (Con) said she had hoped that Lloyds would have given more consideration to closing the last bank in Pangbourne.
In a letter to the bank, Mrs Bale said: “Pangbourne has proved to be a resilient community, and I am sure the majority of affected residents will reluctantly understand and accept your commercial decision.
“My other concern is the potential impact on the retailers in the village. If people in the neighbouring villages have to go somewhere else to access a bank, their shopping habits will also change.
“There is no direct bus route, so residents would have to change buses. With a limited timetable for the 143 bus from Pangbourne to Reading, this could be quite an expedition.”
Mrs Bale said that conversations with staff had revealed that that they were hopeful of being moved to other branches. Lloyds said that only 13 people used the branch on a regular weekly basis and that usage had declined by 13 per cent over the past year.
It added that 74 per cent of personal customers in Pangbourne used other branches and other ways to bank.
The closure leaves the ATM in the Cooperative Food store in The Triangle as the nearest free-to-use cashpoint for residents.
Lloyds said it would be talking to customers about banking services offered by the Post Office.
Customers will have their accounts realigned to the Tilehurst branch, and there will be no other impact to the way they manage their accounts.
The loss of Lloyds follows HSBC closing its Pangbourne branch in April last year and NatWest withdrawing from the village in 2011.
Lloyds also closed its branch in Theale, the last bank in that village, in June this year.