Lloyds sparks ager over South Shields branch closure

A high street bank has been come under fire over its plans to close one of its South Tyneside branches.
The Lloyds Brank branch at The Nook, Prince Edward Road, South Shiels.The Lloyds Brank branch at The Nook, Prince Edward Road, South Shiels.
The Lloyds Brank branch at The Nook, Prince Edward Road, South Shiels.

Lloyds Bank, in Prince Edward Road, at the Nook, South Shields, is to close on June 6.

The bank says the number of customers at the branch has fallen over the years most people also use its other branches, especially the one in King Street, South Shields.

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The move follows The Yowkshire Bank recently announcing it is to close its branch in Fowler Street.

Gazette readers have been quick to make their feelings known on our Facebook page.

Michael Wardle wrote: “A lot of local people, especially the older generation, rely on this branch as well as local businesses.

“This branch is busier than the town centre one which makes this decision ridiculous.”

Lynsey Simmons was looking at the bigger picture.

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She wrote: “It’s the way banking is going sadly. Banks don’t really want to have counter staff and encourage us to use alternatives (internet banking etc) so of course numbers will drop.

“I doubt many banks will have outlying branches in future. They will only keep town/city centre branches open.”

Rob Paris added: “I work in the area and cycle there to do my banking as its quicker and conveniant. This means I’ll have to wait till I am off on a Saturday and go into Shields - which I dont always need to do.”

Claire Carlson wrote: “Its a disgrace. The queue is often out on to the street.

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“I have a business on Prince Edward Road and will have to close my account as going into the town isn’t an option.”

Holly Rendall added: “With digital banking services growing, why should they lose money on small branches at employ two to three people?”

Kerry Bartlett wrote: “I’m considering changing banks now. One of the only reasons I kept my account with them was the convenience.”

Elizabeth Kane wrote: “I popped in last week and they were really helpful. Such a pity.”

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The bank say the number of counter transactions made by personal customers at the branch fell last year by 16%.

Customers will have their accounts realigned to King Street, which is about two miles away, and bank bosses say they should not see any other impact to the way they manage their accounts.

A spokesman for Lloyds Bank said: “The Harton branch in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, will close on June 6, 2017.

“We have made the difficult decision to close this branch because of the changing way customers choose to bank with us, which has resulted in customers using it less often.

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“The majority of customers also now regularly use alternative branches or use other ways to bank such as online and telephone banking to complete their banking needs.