They suggested that the closure could be used as an opportunity for businesses to reconsider who they bank with, and have urged business owners to “think with their feet”, and be open-minded to the other options available to them.
James Spencer, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce said: “There are lots of new bank offerings these days, Tide, Starling, Chase... and an awful lot of competition has come up against high street banks in the last few years, many of which take cash through the post office.”
He suggested that the closure of the popular bank Lloyds, which has traditionally been considered one of the ‘Big Four’ clearing banks, could in fact be viewed in a positive light by business owners.
Mr Spencer said: “There are offerings out there to businesses that are as good as, if not better opposed, to Lloyds, from a business perspective.”
The closure of the popular bank is a result of more customers turning to digital banking as opposed to managing their money in-person.
Mr Spencer said: “For those businesses that don’t receive cash and checks, they are very rarely going along to a high street bank.”
Thus, this could be an opportunity for business owners to consider other banking options available to them, perhaps with lower interest rates, or offering perks such as lower fees when travelling abroad.
Concerns were raised about the impact the closure will have on elderly customers, as Lloyds marks the fourth bank to close in Kingsbridge, following NatWest, Barclays and Santander. There are fears that this could make some people more vulnerable to online scams.
Mr Spencer expressed his sympathy for those that are disappointed by the closure: “I really feel for (all the traders) and charities that will have to change their banks, especially at a time when there’s a lot of other business distractions that make it difficult to be in business.”
However, he encouraged people to keep an open mind in regards to the shutdown, saying, “There are other solutions out there that are better.” This includes start-up businesses that offer new benefits to customers, and perhaps pose a threat to mainstream banks.
He also pointed out that this closure means that more people will be turning to post offices for their everyday banking needs, thus making them more protected from closure: “This is good news for the post offices, which will keep them for longer as they are also under threat.”
Once Lloyds closes in October, HSBC will be the only remaining bank in Kingsbridge.