THE Halifax bank’s agency office in Skelmanthorpe is to close at the end of this week.
The office, which is run from the Commercial Road premises of Lancasters Property Services, will close at 1pm on Friday.
This will leave customers with the option of banking by phone or online or facing trips to Huddersfield or Mirfield.
The closure comes despite a petition organised by Skelmanthorpe Community Action Group to save the office.
Action group spokesman Christopher Ward said: “The great advantage of our village branch is its ease of access, friendly and professional staff who know you personally.
“You actually see the same two people who you have come to know and trust.”
Mr Ward said using the Cloth Hall Street branch in Huddersfield was not an easy option for people without cars.
They could now end up spending half a day travelling to and from the Huddersfield branch just to make a simple deposit or withdrawal.
And he argued that banks which had their roots as building societies – and the Halifax in particular – had a social responsibility to maintain a presence in rural areas.
Kevin Crossfield, managing director of Lancasters, said the closure had been “by mutual consent” as an increasing number of customers were choosing to bank online and staffing the agency was “only marginally profitable”.
He added; “It is regrettable. We have done it for 20 or 30 years, but it is inevitable that these sort of offices are going to disappear.”
Two of the three staff have left to take up other jobs while the third was being offered alternative employment with Lancasters.
A Halifax spokesman said: “People can bank at Cloth Hall Street, Huddersfield, or Huddersfield Road, Mirfield. They can also bank online and by phone and use cash machines with the Halifax logo.”