Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 07:59 UK

Traders fears over Much Wenlock bank closure

Traders in a Shropshire town are urging HSBC not to close a branch because of a negative impact on their businesses.

The branch in Much Wenlock is due to close in June leaving just one bank in the town which opens four days a week.

Shop owners said they were worried they would not be able to pay in cheques and felt branches were needed because not everyone used internet banking.

HSBC said it was a difficult decision but it came as a result of fewer people using the branch.

'Rural support needed'

Shopkeeper Jemima Willis, who is also chairman of the town's Chamber of Trade, said she had deliberately resisted internet banking to keep the branch open.

"Their footfall is very high in there, there are always people in there," she said.

"I do appreciate they are a business but they are such a huge, global business, you would think that they would be able to support rural branches.

"Also, [we] have quite an elderly population in the town and I think it's important banks are accessible."

In a statement, HSBC said: "The decision to close the Much Wenlock Branch was a difficult one, but it reflects the fact that counter usage at the branch is dwindling very rapidly.

"Typically the two members of staff are only serving around five people each hour - something which is clearly not sustainable."



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