I am writing with regards to a bank branch closure in your constituency. The Chapeltown, Sheffield Lloyds Bank branch in Penistone and Stocksbridge will be closing on 24 July 2023. We will be writing to customers about this shortly but I wanted to let you know as soon as possible.
Our customers have more choice than ever in how they bank with us, and are increasingly using digital banking to manage their money. We now have over 20 million digital users and, as people choose to do more online, visits to some branches have fallen by as much as 69% over the last five years. We have to respond to this changing behaviour, as a result we’ve made the difficult decision to close this branch because customers are using it less often.
In Chapeltown, Sheffield, branch transactions by personal customers over the past five years (based on October of each year) has dropped by 76% from 2017 to 2022 and 85% for business customers. Each year there has been a steady decline in usage even before Covid and the pandemic has accelerated customers opting to bank with us in different ways, whether that is online, mobile or over the telephone. In fact, 80% of customers using the Chapeltown branch have also used other Lloyds Bank Branches, internet banking or telephone banking. The reality is that the majority of customers are now choosing to bank in these ways and visit us less often in person, hence we must adapt our branch network to reflect this. I would like to reassure you that those more vulnerable customers will be contacted by our branch colleagues and supported through this transition to alleviate any concerns they may have.
We will support all customers who regularly use this branch, and they will receive a letter with details of alternative ways and places to bank with us. In addition we will continue to ensure access to cash is maintained.
Our agreement with the Post Office means our customers can carry out both personal and business transactions to withdraw money or check their balance, as well as pay in cash and cheques to their account. The closest Post Office is located at Chapeltown, Unit 2 Burncross Road, S35 1SF. There is also a free-to-use ATMs just 0.11 miles away at Asda, 1 Market Street, S35 2UW.
How we made our closure decision
When we close a branch, we complete a detailed impact analysis which includes:
- How customers are choosing to bank with us
- How often customers use the branch and how that usage is changing. This includes looking at trends in the year to October 2022 and the four previous years
- Current services available in the branch and the branch opening hours
- Assessment and check of alternative ways to bank including their proximity and accessibility – this is confirmed by a visit
- Assessment of public transport, availability and frequency
- Assessment of Broadband availability
- Impact on our customers including those who are vulnerable or may need additional support
- We’ve shared the closure plans for this branch with LINK who on behalf of the Cash Action Group have independently assessed the access to cash needs of the local community
There are no job losses as a result of this closure. All colleagues affected will be offered roles at other branches or in other parts of our business.
I understand that our decision will be disappointing so I would like to reassure you again that our branch colleagues will be working closely with customers to ensure they are supported through this and helped with alternative ways of banking. I have attached information on how we reached this decision and how your constituents can access banking services and cash in Penistone and Stocksbridge.
I hope this information has been of use.