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Business people in Appleby are to raise a petition in protest at the closure of the HSBC bank in the town. Customers of the branch were this week sent letters from the bank saying the closure is due to economic reasons and that the Kirkby Stephen branch will remain open.
The Appleby branch will close on November 30. Two full time posts and a number of part time posts are under threat.
The shock closure leave just one bank, Barclays and one building society, the Cumberland in the town.
But many businesses who are customers are angry at the sudden decision, especially the shops and trades people who rely on the banking facilities to deposit cash.
Local shop owner, Susan Spence who runs Allsorts shop in Boroughgate said: “We are planning to set up a petition against the closure. The HSBC branch provides a vital service to businesses and residents of Appleby.”
Jackie Kirkpatrick, Chair of Appleby Chamber of Trade said:"There are lots of small businesses in Appleby that bank cash every day with HSBC. They don't have time to travel to Penrith on a daily basis.
"In addition lots of people come to Appleby to go to the bank and while there they do a little bit of shopping, go to the post office, have they hair done etc therefore supporting the town's economy. If they have to go to Penrith to bank they will probably do their shopping while they are there. We need to encourage shoppers and businesses - not give them an excuse to go else where."
Carl Bendelow, secretary of Appleby Chamber of Trade said: “The closure of the bank is a big blow not only to business and local people of Appleby but also visitors to the town.
“HSBC has one of only two cashpoints in the town, which shoppers and tourist rely upon, especially over bank holiday weekends.”