I have been advised that the Otley branch of Halifax will be closing, however, I was pleased to hear that some face to face services will be retained and a new Banking Hub will be provided – which customers of any of the main banks, including theirs, can use.
The bank will retain the current branch for up to 12 months, should the Banking Hub not be up and running, to allow for a smooth transition of banking services in the community.
Banking hubs involve banks working jointly to offer basic cash services with spaces for people to come in and speak to their own bank. It will allow members of staff from different banks to come into the hub once a week to help customers with trickier transactions.
Throughout the week, the counter service and machines allow individuals and small business owners to access accounts, and to withdraw and deposit notes and coins.
Halifax advised that In Otley, branch transactions over the past five years (based on October of each year) dropped by 74% from 2017 to 2022. Each year there has been a steady decline in usage even before Covid and the pandemic has accelerated customers opting to bank with us in different ways, whether that is online, mobile or over the telephone. 81% of customers using the Otley branch have also used other Halifax Branches, online banking or telephone banking. Halifax have confirmed they would like to reassure you that those more vulnerable customers will be contacted by branch colleagues and supported through this transition to alleviate any concerns they may have.
In addition to this customers can also carry out both personal and business transactions to withdraw money or check their balance, as well as pay in cash and cheques to their account at the Post Office.
I am pleased to hear that there are no job losses as a result of this closure, and that all employees affected will be offered roles at other branches or in other parts of our business.
If you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to get in touch at