BANK chiefs have been accused of “callously disrespecting customers” after they announced the closure of a high street branch in Ellesmere Port.

The town’s MP Justin Madders is furious a decision was made to shut Yorkshire Bank on Marina Drive with no consultation.

The move means elderly and vulnerable customers will have to travel 12 miles to the closest branch in Birkenhead, he says.

Mr Madders is calling on bank chiefs to delay the closure until a full consultation has been undertaken with personal and business customers.

It is currently scheduled to shut by the end of June this year.

An ‘impact assessment’ was published on the Yorkshire Bank website, but the MP described the document as “lacking in detail, inaccurate and frankly a complete waste of time.”

He said the report states there is “no main high street in the town, and no main brand high street stores” when the branch is in fact located on Ellesmere Port’s high street, on the same row as a number of high street brands.

Mr Madders said: “This decision is a kick in the teeth to the many loyal customers, who the bank did not even bother to consult before arriving at this decision. Some people locally have used the bank for many years – surely they deserve better than this?

“However, from the impact assessment, it doesn’t look like the person making this decision has even been to Ellesmere Port.

He added: “The planned closure will impact most on elderly and vulnerable residents, who will now have to either change their bank or travel over 12 miles to Birkenhead. The report from the bank said that the branch and Birkenhead along with two others were within 20 miles so were reasonable alternatives for customers. The other two are in Widnes and Warrington; they clearly have no idea how long it would take to get to these places on public transport.

“Once again we have seen a bank callously disrespecting its customers with a mockery of an assessment. We desperately need much more support for our town centres and for the big banks to show a bit more care for the communities they are meant to serve.”

The Ellesmere Port branch is one of seven nationwide earmarked for closure by Yorkshire Bank.

A spokesman for the bank said all had been selected “based on many factors including: transaction levels, lease expiry dates, proximity to other centres and other local factors”.

She added: “The bank’s first priority is to our customers and we will be working closely with impacted customers and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the transition to their new branch is as smooth as possible.

“It is also the bank’s intention to find roles for branch staff either within other branches or elsewhere in the bank, wherever possible. However, a small number of employees will be at risk of redundancy and subject to our redeployment process. All employees affected by these changes will be fully supported through the process.”