Residents will be forced to pay Clean Air Zone fee to use bank after local branch closes


Crowds have protested a decision to close a Santander branch which will force customers to use one based inside the Clean Air Zone charging area. The branch in Harborne will close next month with the nearest alternative based on Corporation Street in the heart of the city centre.

She added: “A bank is there to provide a service to people. There are certain things we don’t want to do online.

“For people with disabilities and elderly people, it’s not acceptable to say just ‘travel three or four miles to your nearest branch’.”

Preet Kaur Gill MP has also attacked the move and has started an online petition against the changes.

In her weekly newsletter, Ms Gill said it was important the community’s “most vulnerable” residents still had access to services.

She said: “Banks are vital to both communities and other businesses, and without them, it is often very difficult for high streets to survive.

“Residents should be proud of their high street, and it is the bank’s responsibility to look after their fellow entrepreneurs.

“As MP, I will keep fighting for the banks to stay open and help the community’s most vulnerable people maintain access to banks.

“I have started a petition, which is both online and as a paper version, to ask the community to come together to make sure the banks stay open and viable on our high streets.”

In a statement to Express.co.uk, HSBC confirmed a physical desk would be removed from the Harborne branch.

However, they said virtually all other services would be maintained and is part of an evolution of the bank to make sure it is sustainable for the future.

An HSBC UK spokesperson added: “We are very conscious that there will be some customers who are less confident or comfortable using self-service options, and we would like to assure them that we will not be leaving any of our customers high and dry.

“We are contacting vulnerable customers by phone to discuss the forthcoming change and will be supporting them with their banking, including explaining alternative ways to bank.

“Our branch staff will also be on hand to help in the banking hall rather than behind a screen, to explain and also to educate customers on how to complete their transaction.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Santander for comment.

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