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Concerns over closure of Newhaven’s last bank
A DISABLED man faces an hour-and a-half round trip to go to the bank after the last branch closed in his town.
Lawrence Steer, who uses crutches or a mobility scooter, will no longer be able to make a 15-minute trip to the bank when the HSBC closes in Newhaven High Street.
He faces having to travel to the nearest branch in Seaford after bosses at HSBC announced his local branch will close on September 12.
Mr Steer, of Hillcrest Road, Newhaven, said: “I spoke to the tellers in the bank and they said it was just that the lease is up and HSBC have decided not to renew it.
“It is the last bank in Newhaven and we used to have five banks here and now all we are left with is a Post Office.
The 54-year-old added: “They are encouraging small businesses to the town but they are not going to have anywhere to bank.
“I can do online banking but if I need to go into a branch it will take me 45 minutes there and 45 minutes back to go to the Seaford branch – that is an hour and a half round trip to do a five minute job.
“Newhaven used to be a busy town but now the High Street is becoming derelict with all the shops and now the bank closing.”
HSBC bosses have told The Argus the branch is no longer “commercially viable” and that the decision to close the branch was taken with “great reluctance”.
Norman Baker, MP for the Lewes constituency, which includes Newhaven, has met with bank bosses to ensure residents still received a service.
Mr Baker has said HSBC assured him customers not wishing to access alternative branches will be given access to banking through the Post Office.
He added that he was “disappointed” with the decision and will insist HSBC leave a cash machine in place following the bank’s closure.