LYMM’S last remaining bank has closed its doors today despite a successful campaign to have it listed as an Asset of Community Value.
Representatives from Lymm Parish council, who have been campaigning to keep the bank open, met with representatives from Lloyd’s Bank today but failed to persuade them to keep it open.
The bank officially closed for business at 3.30pm today leaving an uncertain future for the building, which will now require planning permission before any changes can be implemented.
It also means the owners have to give six months notice before they can sell it.
The Parish council are still hopeful that the cash machine will be retained along with a deposit facility and possibly a mobile bank of some kind moving forward.
Local councillor Graham Gowland, who has been helping lead the campaign to keep the bank open said: “We met representatives from the bank following some last minute engagement they offered.
“But it was clear it was just a PR exercise from Lloyd’s and they had no intention to listen to any community aspects, although they have agreed to go away and look at our requests to keep the branch open, or to provide an ATM with cash banking facility, maybe supported by a mobile bank and we await the outcome with bated breath.
“It’s not a surprising result, but it is disappointing. Lloyd’s commented that with 200 branch closures, there has been no occasion where community engagement has influenced their decision to close a single branch.
“Banking practices have changed and they have gone through one of the biggest closure programmes of branches and Lymm will suffer from this commercial decision.
“Assessing the profitability of a single branch is difficult, but in a ‘honeypot’ village like Lymm – a village with close to 13,000 residents – it must have a level of viability not seen elsewhere. We will wait for their reply but are also working with other banks to try and ensure the community retains a vital service.”
Cllr Gowland said there had been a case of the Nationwide already taking over a former Lloyd’s Bank elsewhere in the country. He added that fellow local councillor Ed Gough had worked for Barclays Bank and was exploring the feasibility of some kind of community bank.
If Lloyd’s decided to close their cash machine the parish council would look at the feasibility of having one placed in the village.
“The campaign is not yet entirely dead int he water but it has not exactly been a victory either,” added Cllr. Gowland.
The closure and decline of high street banks will feature on The One Show on BBC one next Tuesday (July 11) at 7pm.