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‘It’s a devastating blow’ - MP slams decision to close one of town’s last remaining high street banks

PUBLISHED: 13:42 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 19:25 07 October 2020

Duncan Baker MP for North Norfolk has written to the CEO of TSB calling for the decision to close the Holt branch of TSB. Picture: Duncan Baker/ Google Maps

Duncan Baker MP for North Norfolk has written to the CEO of TSB calling for the decision to close the Holt branch of TSB. Picture: Duncan Baker/ Google Maps

Archant

A Norfolk MP has said the decision to close one of a market town’s last remaining high street banks will cause a “devastating blow” to the local community.

Last month TSB announced it will be shutting 164 branches across the country in the coming months.

Among those to be included in the raft of closures, and the only in Norfolk to be affected, is the Holt TSB branch.

The closure, which will come into effect in June 2021, will mean TSB customers will have to travel more than 11 miles to Aylsham to access over the counter services and will leave the town with just one high street bank.

Now, Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk has written to Debbie Crosbie, the CEO of TSB, slamming the decision and calling for it to be re-evaluated.

Criticising the decision, Mr Baker said he felt it has been made without consulting the local community, did not take into account customers’ needs and “did little to recognise [the town’s] older and vulnerable residents.”

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Mr Baker said: “The news that the Holt TSB is to shut as part of the overall strategy of closing 164 branches, is a devastating blow to many of my constituents who use this busy and vital bank.

“This is a long established and well used branch. I am disappointed there has been no engagement or consultation with the local community and furthermore no consideration has been given to the profile of the branch users.

“Yet again a decision is made in central office which does little to recognise our older and vulnerable residents who rely on branch closures.”

The MP who was elected in December 2019 said banks “have a social responsibility to the communities they serve” and that Aylsham was not practical solution for people in Holt.

He said: “Focus for once should be on the needs of your customer base rather than the constant need for shareholder return.

“...I would like to see you re-evaluate this decision and consider seriously what further viable solutions you propose to offer the community to carry out their banking needs.”

A TSB spokesman said: “We have received the letter from Mr Baker and will be responding to it in due course.”


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