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Proposal for pop-up bank to be explored as town fights to keep banking services

PUBLISHED: 09:29 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 23 March 2018

The Bungay branch of Lloyds Bank.  Picture: Nick Butcher.

The Bungay branch of Lloyds Bank. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2017

Proposals to open a pop-up bank in Bungay are being explored ahead of the closure of the town's last remaining bank.

Bungay mayor Mary Matthews. Picture: Bungay Town Council.Bungay mayor Mary Matthews. Picture: Bungay Town Council.

Lloyds Banking Group announced it would be closing its Market Place branch at the end of last year as part of 32 closures across the UK, which also include Halesworth and Southwold.

Mary Matthews, mayor of Bungay, said it was the fifth bank closure they have faced in the last few years, and will leave the town without a local branch and 24-hour cash machine.

Now Ms Matthews, along with Waveney MP Peter Aldous, is calling for a pop-up bank to be established, ideally at the Lloyds base after its closure in May, and the cash machine to be retained.

The Bungay branch of Lloyds Bank.  Picture: Nick Butcher.The Bungay branch of Lloyds Bank. Picture: Nick Butcher.

She said: “If the banks all say they can’t sustain in the town full-time, then could we not get three or four of them together to share it? That might be a way to save the facility for the town and keep one bank for residents, businesses and visitors.

“We will really suffer if we don’t have a 24-hour cash machine. Our street markets which attract thousands of people every year will be affected, our businesses will be affected and I think with a bit of joined-up thinking we can do something really positive.

“We do have a facility at the Post Office, but it’s not geared up for a lot of people to perform their banking.”

Waveney MP Peter Aldous.
 Picture: Archant library.Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Archant library.

Ms Matthews said the idea is in the early stages, and they are awaiting a formal response from Lloyds to a letter sent by Mr Aldous.

In his letter Mr Aldous said: “This presents the opportunity to fully investigate the option of providing from your premises an alternative form of bank in Bungay. This could be achieved in a variety of ways, including the relocation of the Post Office, through a mutual society or by the high street banks joining together to provide a pop-up bank.”

Mr Aldous has also proposed a meeting in Bungay to explore options, something Lloyds has confirmed it is organising.

Lloyds said the reason for the closure was down to a change in the ways customers bank, resulting in the branch being used less often.

A spokesman apologised for any inconvenience and said the bank will be speaking to customers about a mobile branch service being introduced in May, which will visit Bungay.

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