Yorkshire Bank is set to axe two of its branches in North Kirklees – as part of plans to close nine branches in Yorkshire and 17 elsewhere in the UK.

The branches at Commercial Street in Batley and Market Place in Heckmondwike will close this summer with accounts automatically transferring to Dewsbury and Cleckheaton branches respectively.

Yorkshire Bank has not disclosed details of redundancies, but confirmed that the Batley branch has eight full-time and part-time staff with seven employed at Heckmondwike. The Batley branch will close on July 13 while the Heckmondwike branch will close on August 1.

Yorkshire Bank said the moves reflected “the changing needs of customers who want to access more day-to-day banking services quickly, on the move and outside normal business hours”.

It said the closure of a number of unsustainable and “lapsed-lease” locations aimed to ensure the bank continued to deliver a sustainable service “when and where there is greatest demand”.

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It said there would be further investment in branch technology, including 100 new ATMs, a continuation of the bank’s programme of refurbishments, an extension of Saturday opening hours and more branches opening on Saturdays.

Steve Fletcher, head of customer banking networks for Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank acknowledged that the branch closures “will not be welcome news” for customers using those branches.

He said: “These are difficult decisions but ones we must face as we try to keep up with the pace of change in the way people want to bank. We have to balance our investment to ensure we support demand where it is greatest, across mobile, online and branch services.

“Branches remain vitally important to us and we continue to invest in them, the services they offer and when we offer them.”