Sir Edward Leigh, the long-serving Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, has written to the Chief Executive Officer of Santander Bank, Mr. Nathan Bostock, requesting that he reconsiders the proposed closure of the bank’s branch in Market Street, Gainsborough. He wrote:
“I object strenuously to the closure of this bank branch which is essential to a great many of my constituents who are your customers.
“While I’m sure many of your operations have moved online not all of your customers will have the fluency with technology to allow them to continue to access the banking services that they find necessary.”
In recent years a number of bank branches in the constituency have been closed, including both NatWest branches at Market Rasen and in Gainsborough.
The bank recommends that the closest two branches, should the closure go ahead, will be Retford, 12.1 miles away, and Lincoln, 18.2 miles away – but fails to acknowledge that both destinations have rail connections via the town’s Gainsborough Lea Road station. This gives rise for concern about the qualitative value of the banks assessment for the proposed closure. The bank’s own data indicates that 74% of the branch’s customers only use that branch, whilst 47% are not using online, mobile or telephone banking services, suggesting significant number of customers will be affected by the closure.
Sir Edward continues:
“In particular I am concerned that a great number of my older and more vulnerable constituents will be poorly put out by this closure. Many constituents place great value on the face-to-face interactions that provide reassurance in their financial transactions and management of their money. With the steady rise in the scamming of bank customers by fraudsters via email and telephone, these customers will be at greater risk.
“I ask that you revisit the proposed closure of the Santander branch in Gainsborough and understand the value it provides both for your company and for our community.”