‘Sorry time’ as second bank shuts

Former site of Barclays bank in Knottingley
Former site of Barclays bank in Knottingley

RESIDENTS in Knottingley could be forced to travel to get their cash after a second bank in the town closed, leaving only one open for business.

Barclays, on The Arcade, Hill Top, closed its doors last Friday leaving Yorkshire Bank as the only bank still open in the town. The Knottingley branch of Halifax closed last year.

All the staff working at Knottingley’s Barclays have been relocated to other branches, including Pontefract, but Knottingley residents and councillors say the closure of the bank is a blow for the town.

Coun Graham Stokes said: “It is a sorry time, the withdrawal of banks will affect other businesses on Hill Top as footfall and potential customers who would call in at the same time as they visit their bank reduces.

“However it is a sign of the times as banks centralise more to reduce costs.

“Internet banking is on the increase but not everyone has or wants to access their bank electronically, the elderly in particular prefer face to face contact and they will now be disadvantaged by having to travel to Pontefract or Castleford to access services.”

Alan Hodgson, resident, commented on the Express Facebook page: “I moved my account from Barclays to Yorkshire Bank. Hope the rumours of the Yorkshire Bank shutting in 18 months time are not true. What next to close in Knottingley? The list of places is getting longer.”

Despite concerns that Yorkshire Bank will be the next to go, Andy Gibson, regional manager, said: “Yorkshire Bank has a long association with Knottingley and we are very much open for business. We have been based in the town for 80 years and we are committed to continuing to serve the residents of Knottingley.”

Karen Swainston, from Barclays, said: “The decision to close has not been taken lightly but the branch has seen constantly declining customer numbers. We have worked hard to maintain to help customers with the change and to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible.”