Spilsby

Local Democracy Weekly: Can the high street bank be saved?

The last bank is set to withdraw from Spilsby, and there are fears the move could lead to an economic downturn for the town.

Lloyds has confirmed it will close its high street branch, leaving only the post office in the town to deal with everyday transactions.

The move will see the town follow in the footsteps of Mablethorpe and others in Lincolnshire, as well as villages such as Woodhall Spa in being bankless.

As with many bank closures, the usual reasons were trotted out – changing customer methods, the rise of online, the lack of use.

The problem is that the transfer of cash, the service the bank is most used for, doesn’t actually make much money for the bank itself – and it’s still a business. As people take to the internet to apply for mortgages, loans etc, the need for buildings for those services is also reduced.

But the impact is much greater than residents themselves – tourists, businesses and others all rely on these services and if they are unavailable they may be put off coming to the town.

As one councillor put it, these losses will leave residents feeling “like the town is in freefall”.

Perhaps it’s time someone put a net in place to catch them.