Villagers angry as bank to close
A village's last remaining bank is to be closed.
High street bank HSBC has announced it is closing its Kibworth branch and removing the cash machine because of a lack of customers.
The move has been criticised by an organisation formed to promote the village and its business community, and a petition has been set up to save the bank.
Kibworth Improvement Team spokesman Andrew Southerden said: "It is very disappointing news and will affect our elderly residents who use the bank.
"It is the only bank in the village and its closure will be a loss of a service to the community.
"It will mean that branch customers will have to travel to Market Harborough, Oadby or Wigston to find their nearest bank.
"Losing the cash machine will not be so bad, as there are others nearby."
The bank is open for five hours a day, from Monday to Friday, and employs two members of staff, who will be re-deployed. It is due to close on November 23.
Businesswoman Sarah Condon, who has used the branch for nearly 20 years, has launched a petition to save the High Street branch.
The 54-year-old said she was furious about the closure.
"As a resident of the village for some 20 years and an HSBC account holder for most of that time, I am very upset about this impending closure," Mrs Condon said.
"I tested the water among customers and was moved by the overwhelming sense of anger and distress people in Kibworth feel.
"Not everyone in the village is on the internet or has their own transport.
"I have started an e-petition and I will also be launching a paper petition to try to get the bank to change its mind."
A HSBC spokeswoman said: "The branch is only open for limited hours during the week and not at weekends.
"Customer usage of the branch has fallen significantly over the past few years as our customers use other branches or they are using the 24-hour convenience of internet or telephone and mobile phone banking.
"Our network has to be 'fit for purpose' and we have to ensure our branches are located in areas where they are actually used."
The spokeswoman said the bank was working with customers who use the branch to help them re-organise their finances ahead of the planned closure.
She said: "The two members of staff who work in the branch will transfer to the other branch and there will be no redundancies."
The online petition against the closure of the village branch can be seen at: