THE fight to keep the HSBC bank in Studley goes on – despite campaigners being told the company is definitely closing its branch.
That was the defiant message after parish council chairman Coun Paul Beaman who reported back on a meeting with the bank’s Midland chiefs.
“There is no going back. The decision has been made on financial grounds and we saw the figures on footfall and the bank’s has gone down in the last three years.
He added by way of compensation the bank was ready to run one-to-one workshops for residents unsure about internet or telephone banking.
But Coun Brian Dixon said the reason fewer people were using it was because many services had been transferred out of the village to the bank’s Redditch branch.
And newly elected district councillor Hazel Wright suggested members refer the issue to the financial ombudsman: “You can challenge the decision and it will look into the dispute between the bank and residents and they will get to the bottom of this.
“If they still decide to close at least you will have kept them on their toes for six months.”
Her idea was unanimously adopted by councillors.
Villager Franziska Empl Buchanan, who has led the campaign to stop the closure, said: “The bank’s decision to carry on with the closure was what we expected them to say, but it will not put us off.
“We have more than 400 signatures to our petition, plus another 300 online, then there’s another 120 who have sent letters and we have another 60 that we haven’t collated yet, so the strength of feeling is there, plus we have the action through the financial ombudsman.
“The fight goes on.”