Second Downham bank to close its doors

Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Councillors ENGANL00120130214162354
Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Councillors ENGANL00120130214162354

A Downham and borough councillor believes it only is a matter of time before more banks in the town close their branches.

Kathy Mellish has expressed her concerns following the news that the High Street branch of HSBC will close its doors to the public in August.

A spokesman for HSBC has stated the increase in online and telephone banking as among the main reasons for the closure.

But Mrs Mellish said: “Banks are just not interested in market towns and it won’t be long before more close their doors.

“It’s not a good move, however the banks will tell you its due to footfall and their customer base.

“In my eyes it’s a retrigade step from the bank’s point of view. Not everyone uses online banking and it will be another empty space in the town.

“Banks will do what they have to do. They say they are here for the community, but they will end up killing it.”

The town’s Natwest Bank branch closed down last year and this latest announcement has raised concerns about the impact it could have on the town centre.

On the closure, a spokesperson for HSBC said: “Unfortunately, with an increase in the use of online and telephone banking over the past few years use of our Downham Market branch has fallen significantly, and we’ve had to take the difficult decision to close it on August 19.

“We will be working with customers who use the affected branches to help them understand their options, which include being able to use local post offices for their day-to-day banking, and using local ATMs.”

Some of Downham’s HSBC customers are believed to have received correspondence from the bank regarding the forthcoming closure of the High Street branch.

HSBC closed other Norfolk branches earlier this year.