Despite concerns raised by Burnley MP, Julie Cooper, Santander has confirmed that they plan to go ahead with the planned closure of the Padiham branch, insisting that closing "lesser-used" branches will not impede their ability to service "local communities".
Julie Cooper MP had previously written to the Regional Director of Santander to appeal against the company's decision to close the Padiham branch, expressing her "grave concern" at the negative impact it will have on the local community.
Despite the MP's vociferous opposition to the closure, scheduled for June 28th, 2018, a statement from the bank read: “Santander is committed to ensuring we provide a good level of service that meets the changing needs of our customers. In order to do this we continually review our branch network, and sometimes need to make difficult decisions over our less-utilised branches, ensuring colleagues and customers are informed well in advance of any changes.
“As a result of our recent review, Santander has announced it will be closing its Padiham branch in June 2018," it confirmed. "This decision has not been taken lightly and follows a strategic review looking across our UK branch network, changing customer behaviour, branch and digital channel usage, alternative ways for our customers to bank with us, whilst supporting local communities."
Insisting the closure would cause "great distress, inconvenience and frustration to many of the residents," Julie Cooper MP pointed out that as the last bank in Padiham, the branch's closing would greatly impact pensioners in the area, many of whom would find travelling to alternative branches in Burnley and Accrington difficult.
““The nearest Santander branches are located in Burnley and Accrington.Closing our lesser-used branches means we’re able to reinvest in our branch network to improve facilities, as well as investing further in digital capabilities to deliver a better experience for our customers, whilst continuing to provide services to local communities," Santander's comment added. "Santander is committed to its programme of refurbishing branches and investing in its network, and over the last three years we have completely refurbished 203 branches, including some of the largest and busiest, and this will continue in 2018."
Despite the MP expressing her scepticism at the likelihood of elderly residents transitioning seamlessly into online banking, the statement continued: "As well as visiting other Santander branches, customers may find it convenient to use Online, Mobile or Telephone Banking, offering flexibility in how and when they manage their money. In addition, all Santander current account holders can use the Post Office for cash and cheque deposits, withdrawals and to check their account balance.
“Santander is in contact with Ms Cooper and are keen to discuss her concerns,” it finished.