A bank has been accused of walking away from a boom town with the closure of a Fylde coast branch.
HSBC has revealed its branch in Market Square, Poulton, will shut on June 24 and blamed a drop in use for the closure. But business owners and civic leaders have questioned the move, which will leave some customers already hit hard by closures with an even longer journey to their nearest branch.
Coun David Henderson, who represents Breck Ward, said: “My reaction is one of amazement.
“There will be lots of people and businesses who hold their accounts there. I should think there would be enough people to support the branch.
“Having been in other banks on the square on a Saturday they always seem to be busy. It is a sad day really.”
Customers in Over Wyre have already been hit by the closure of bank branches.
HSBC pulled out of Knott End nearly a decade ago.
And now customers will have to travel even further or switch their bank.
Coun Henderson suggested Wyre Council could ask HSBC to explain its decision.
He added: “When we next have a meeting of our senior leadership I will ask if HSBC made the council aware.
“There may be a case for asking them to look into their decision.”
Steven Jones, of the New Penny Grill in Tithebarn Street, is baffled by the news.
He said: “We bank with HSBC but may look at changing. I don’t understand it. Poulton is a town on the up.
“There’s no logic to it. Hopefully it won’t mean fewer people coming into town.”
A HSBC spokesman said: “We never take the decision to close a branch lightly, and we understand it’s unsettling for the community.
“Unfortunately, with an increase in the use of online and telephone banking over the past few years use of the Poulton branch has fallen significantly, and we took the difficult decision to close it.
“We have been working with customers who use the branch to help them understand their options, which include being able to use local post offices for their day-to-day banking.”
The nearest alternative branches are in Birley Street Blackpool and Victoria Road West, Cleveleys