Lloyds Bank faces backlash over further store closures

Lloyds Bank today announced it will permanently shut 44 Lloyds and Halifax branches, sparking backlash from trade unions.

Unite expressed anger at the decision to close the bank branches, describing the move as a “bitter blow for customers, staff, and local communities.”

The bank said that the closures are a result of a decline in transactions at the branches as customers shift to online banking.

"Like many businesses on the High Street, we must change for a future where branches will be used in a different way, and visited less often," said Vim Maru, retail director, Lloyds Banking Group.

Lloyds told Unite that the majority of impacted employees will be redeployed, with some voluntary redundancies.

“The decision by Lloyds Banking Group to further erode its presence within our communities is baffling,” said Caren Evans, Unite national officer. “The closure of 44 more bank branches will deny our communities of essential services such as access to cash and experienced highly trained staff.”

Evans added: “A local ATM is not a suitable alternative to a staffed bank branch.”

She said while in recent times the bank has spent “significant resource” to sell its message of ‘Helping Britain Recover,’ Unite is seriously questioning how the decision to close branches promotes this message.

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