A RAINFORD bank which closed last year has been replaced.
Four new Santander Agencies have opened across the borough thanks to Peter Ashworth of Alexander House Associates Ltd and St Helens Council.
The latest Santander branch was officially opened in Billinge to meet the banking needs of local residents and businesses.
Following the announcement by Lloyds Banking group to close its Halifax branches in Thatto Heath, Fingerpost, Rainford and Billinge and removal of the associated 24 hour ATM services, it was feared that residents of the four affected areas would have to travel to the town centre to complete their day-to-day banking.
Alexander House Agencies Ltd and St Helens Council worked positively together to ensure that local residents and businesses would retain access to local banking facilities, and as a result the Santander Agencies have all been officially opened during November. The Agencies are all operated and managed by local business Alexander House Agencies Limited.
Peter Ashworth, Director of Alexander House Agencies Limited, said: “We are delighted to have successfully opened all of our new agency branches, indeed St.Helens is unique in this regard as all of the Halifax Agencies have been replaced – this has not happened anywhere else and would not have been possible without the support received from St Helens Council.
“Working in partnership with St Helens Council we recognised the impact that these closures would have on our loyal customer base. I am delighted new Santander branches are open to meet the needs of local residents and we are delighted to be able to offer unique banking support to local businesses.”
Councillor Andy Bowden, Cabinet Member for Urban Regeneration and Housing, said: “St Helens Council is delighted that our joint approach has secured the new Santander banking facilities and retained jobs within the Borough. We recognise that access to cash by residents is a vital component in sustaining the existence of local district centres and their businesses.”
The new banking provision will include the installation of state of the art external 24-hour ATMs, which were operational in early 2011.