Yorkshire Bank branch closure in Leeds will be 'huge blow' for local community, warns MP

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves.
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves.
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A Leeds MP today described plans to close a bank in her constituency as a “huge blow” for local residents.

Yorkshire Bank yesterday announced that it was preparing to shut six branches, including one in the Bramley area of the city.

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has now criticised the decision, saying it highlights the need for the launch of a so-called People’s Bank to serve communities neglected by the current banking system.

Ms Reeves said: “I’m very disappointed that Yorkshire Bank have confirmed the closure of their Bramley branch and five other branches.

"This is a huge blow for our community in Bramley, and it is time we had a People’s Bank that puts people before profits.”

The other Yorkshire Bank branches earmarked for closure are in Skipton, Redcar, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Tamworth and Widnes.

Speaking yesterday, Fergus Murphy, group retail director at Yorkshire Bank owner CYBG, said: “We are committed to maintaining a national network of branches.

"Announcing plans to close branches is never easy and it’s not a decision we take lightly.

"A number of factors are taken into consideration when reviewing our network, including branch usage, footfall and customer behaviour.

“Each branch is also assessed on an individual basis, carefully considering the impact on the local area, as well as alternative options.”

CYBG will begin closing the selected branches in August and has said it hopes to find alternative roles in the business for affected workers.

It has confirmed, however, that a "small number" of staff will be at risk of redundancy.

Consumer group Which? recently warned that banks and ATMs in the UK are closing at an “alarming” speed.

Figures show that cashpoints disappeared at a rate of 488 per month between June and December last year.

Around 3,300 bank branches have also closed their doors since 2015, prompting fears that the UK is drifting towards becoming a cashless society.

Which? has called for “urgent regulatory action” to protect cash as a payment method.