MP Chris Green says he has been contacted by residents over bank closures.

In Bolton West, Mr Green's constituency, 11 banks have shut since the start of 2015 - leaving just two remaining in the area, Lloyds and Natwest, according to figures from Which?

But the Lloyds branch has been marked for closure.

To add to that, separate figures from cash machine network LINK has shown the number of ATMs from from 58 to 40 in Mr Green’s constituency.

It's a familiar picture across the borough. Natwest closed branches in Westhoughton and more recently, Santander announced that it will be reducing its operating hours in Bolton town centre.

Mr Green said that his constituents have raised the issue with him, specifically since the announcement of the closure of Lloyds’ branch on Market Street in Westhoughton - a decision which he described as “set in stone”.

READ: Lloyds Bank: Bolton branch closure confirmed

The branch will close permanently in August, along with 60 branches across Halifax, Lloyds and the Bank of Scotland.

Vim Maru, Group Retail Director, Lloyds Banking Group said: “Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online.”

Mr Green said: “A high number of people are doing their banking online and banks are responding to that demand. Keeping high street banks open is very expensive.”

Bolton West has a high population of older and elderly residents who often still prefer the use of cash or cheques. There are also lower levels of technological fluency and mobility issues among older generations, so accessing local, fact-to-face bank services might be vital.

“Realistically, people can get to Bolton to access face-to-face bank services,” Mr Green said. “While it is frustrating and more inconvenient, at least it is still accessible.

“Most banks have a branch in Bolton town centre which is reasonably accessible to most people in the area.

The Bolton News: Bolton West MP Chris GreenBolton West MP Chris Green

“It’s not the highlands in Scotland where there isn’t a branch for 50 miles”

He added: “It’s a sensitive thing to talk about and this might sound a bit callous, but if someone is housebound, they won’t be able to go to Bolton or Market Street either way.

“If someone has concerns about accessing a branch, there are mechanisms to help them.”

Which? chief executive, Anabel Hoult, said: “While the pandemic has accelerated the move to digital payments for many consumers, many are not yet ready to make that switch and require protection from an avalanche of ATM and bank branch closures that have left the UK’s cash system at risk of collapse.”

According to figures up to the end of April, four banks have been shuttered in Bolton North East since the start of 2015, leaving six remaining in the area.

Between the start of 2018 and early March this year, the number of ATMs in Bolton North East dropped from 69 to 53.

In the same time perio , seven banks have been shuttered in Bolton South East since the start of 2015, leaving eight remaining in the area.

And between the start of 2018 and early March this year, the number of ATMs in Bolton South East dropped from 116 to 90.

A bill to protect access to cash was announced as part of the Queen’s Speech in May.


The Treasury says the new legislation will ensure “continued access to withdrawal and deposit facilities across the UK”.