Lloyds and Halifax to close bank branches in Alnwick with new banking hub planned as alternative for customers

Alnwick will be left without any traditional bank branches from early next year after the closure of Lloyds and Halifax was announced.
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The branches, located next to each other on Bondgate Within, will close on January 15, 2025, Lloyds Banking Group has revealed.

A letter to stakeholders explaining the decision states: ‘The reason for the closure of our branch is that usage has declined over recent years as our customers increasingly choose to use online, mobile or telephone banking to manage their money.

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‘The number of transactions by our personal customers using this branch have fallen by 58% at the Lloyds Branch, and 52% at the Halifax, over the last five years. We have to respond to this changing behaviour.’

The Halifax and Lloyds branches in Alnwick are set to close. Picture: GoogleThe Halifax and Lloyds branches in Alnwick are set to close. Picture: Google
The Halifax and Lloyds branches in Alnwick are set to close. Picture: Google

Customers who regularly use the branches will receive a letter with details of other ways they can bank with the firm.

The closures will leave the Post Office as the only banking facility in the town, although it does not offer a full range of services.

Barclays, which closed its Alnwick branch last year, continues to offer a ‘pop-up cashless banking site’ at the Playhouse.

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The news was described by Cllr Gordon Castle, Alnwick ward member on Northumberland County Council, as ‘a real body blow and an obvious move to the cashless society’.

He added: “I'd hoped the Halifax at least might be spared but that now leaves Alnwick with very little of what people understand that banks are expected to offer.”

As an alternative, LINK – the cash machine network – is planning to set up a banking hub which customers of any of the major banks can use to deposit and withdraw cash over the counter.

Banking hubs are a shared banking space, similar to a traditional bank branch, but available to everyone.

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The hub will consist of a counter service operated by Post Office employees, where customers of any bank can withdraw and deposit cash, make bill payments and carry out regular banking transactions.

In addition, there will be private spaces where customers can speak to community bankers from their own bank for more complicated matters that require specialist knowledge or privacy.

The banks will be working on a rotating basis, so there will be staff from different banks available on different days.

Lloyds Banking Group has said it will send a community banker into the hub to provide face-to-face support to customers one day per week.

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It adds that to give the banking hub time to get up and running it may delay the closure of the branches until March 2025.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson said: “As many customers now choose to bank through their mobile app or online, visits to our Lloyds Bank and Halifax branches in Alnwick have fallen over recent years.

"Customers can use the local Post Office for everyday banking which is a short walk away from both branches, and access cash at the nearby free-to-use ATMs. Customers can also manage their money online, by calling us, or at the new banking hub once it is up and running.“

The banking hub will be delivered by Cash Access UK. Over the next few weeks, it will begin to engage with the local community and will start to look for potential sites. The hub will likely open in 12 months’ time.

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Nick Quin, Head of Financial Inclusion, LINK, said: “Access to cash and basic banking continues to be vital to millions of people across the UK. The hub will make a real difference to the local community and allow people to access vital services.”

To date, LINK has recommended 117 banking hubs. There are currently 39 banking hubs up and running in the UK.

The nearest alternative Lloyds and Halifax branches are in Ashington and Blyth.