Campaigners Condemn Bank Closures 

Campaigners condemn bank closures A campaign by two Lib Dem councillors to save a Southport bank has been strongly backed by local residents. A petition organised by Councillors Pat Keith and John Dodd against the proposed closure of Nat West’s Churchtown branch has attracted hundreds of signatures and messages of support from residents and businesses. Local Solicitors, Cockshott, Peck and Lewis have pledged their support and Wendy Tyson, resident Solicitor at their Churchtown Office said: “ We visit this branch on a daily basis to bank cheques, it’s always busy and regularly used by businesses and local families. There’s free parking outside making it an attractive alternative to Lord Street.  It’s essential for the local community, schools and doctors, and I can’t believe the bank expect, their older clients, many of whom we act for, to walk almost a mile to the nearest post office instead. Yes, many of us bank online, but to do away with that face to face option is not acceptable 82 year old customer, Eric Appleton said: “I have difficulty getting around so the closure of this branch presents me with huge problems. My daughter will have to drive me into town, pay for parking, and I will still have to walk. “The bank closure signals the closure of my independence.”I hope that the banks will reconsider and remember they have a duty to their customers.” John Dodd, perplexed at the bank’s logic said: “They’re throwing more than half a million pounds at the town branch for refurbishment whilst neglecting to keep open a thriving local bank. “ I am a regular user of the bank and have seen no evidence of a 22% drop in customers on the contrary there is usually a queue. “I fear that closure of the branch will have an acute impact on local businesses here in Churchtown.” Pat Keith said; “Regardless of the facts and figures that Nat. West have issued, the Churchtown branch is always busy, and our residents cannot speak highly enough of the service they receive from the staff. “ I suspect the real reason for the closure is that there’s not much profit in personal accounts. But, with the recent bad publicity banks have received, this could be their chance to redeem themselves and put people before profit.” “The bank should look at the first principle of their customer’s charter which states: We put our customers' needs first - We will listen and then help you find solutions that meet your needs. “What I would say to Nat West is.... practice what you preach.