A leading business organisation has expressed fresh concerns after a major bank announced the closure of four of its branches in Gloucestershire.
Lloyds Bank has revealed that its Montpellier branch would be among 100 to close between July and October this year. It is part of a programme of 400 closures that has already been announced. While Lloyds said, the move was due to falling footfall in branches, because customers were carrying out more transactions online, the Federation of Small Businesses has expressed concerns. FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “It is very worrying to see yet more local bank branches being shut down, leaving small business customers without the services they rely on.
“Cash still remains an important element of many small firms and it needs to be banked at the end of the day.
“For some small businesses, online banking is not always a viable substitute, not least because of poor broadband coverage in many rural areas. “While there are moves by some banks to allow basic services to be accessed in Post Office branches, the Post Office is not yet able to step in as an alternative with full business services. “The onus is now on Lloyds to take steps to ensure access to banking is being protected under the terms of the access to banking protocol.”