MP urges HSBC to reprieve Ambleside and Sedbergh branches
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today slammed HSBC's decision to close their Sedbergh and Ambleside branches.
In a letter to the MP from Nigel Davies, HSBC's regional director, the bank announced their decision to close their Ambleside and Sedbergh branches, stating that they believed that they are no longer commercially sustainable.
HSBC, who publicly call themselves 'The World's Local Bank', state that the administration of their customer accounts will move to Windermere which is 4.8 miles away from the Ambleside branch, and to Kendal which is 11.3 miles from the Sedbergh branch.
Commenting, Tim said, "This decision will affect a large number of local people. HSBC have responsibilities to the communities which they serve and these branches are vital to their local areas. Transferring clients to HSBC's Windermere and Kendal branches means that customers will have to travel considerable extra distances, which is particularly unreasonable considering the rising cost of living and fuel prices. These HSBC branches serve a wide, rural community and this decision is letting the people down. I urge HSBC to reconsider their decision and keep these vital rural branches open to serve local needs."
Ambleside & Grasmere councillor Heidi Halliday added: "I am very disappointed that HSBC are thinking about closing our local branch. It's not just people and businesses in Ambleside who will suffer, but also the surrounding areas as well. To expect people to travel that extra distance to pay a cheque is wrong. Elderly and vulnerable people rely on this branch and I hope that HSBC think again."