Cheltenham & Gloucester to Closures

15 June 2009

The fallout from the worst recession in living memory continues with today's announcement that Lloyds are to close all 164 branches of the C&G making for quite a few more "holes" on High Street's around the UK. Not so well publicised is the fact that they are also to axe another 985 staff from an associate company offering car finance, but that's another story yet all part of the group's decision to slim down, cut out waste, and focus on profitable business.

So what effect will eliminating all the C&G branches have on our region and on customers in particular? Lynn Steele of the Halifax based "The SIPP Broker" offers some words of encouragement.

Interviewed today she advised, "Obviously, the news is as bad as it gets for the staff employed at the branches because they are going to have to start looking for alternative employment in a business sector already awash with spare people. Mercifully only a small number of personnel will be affected in our region but it's still a source of sorrow for those concerned.
Regarding investors and those with mortgages the news is considerably better because in the short to medium term at least the only major change will be the loss of "their" branch. This doesn't mean that there will be no inconvenience because there will be, the location and ease of access to branch offices being a significant factor for many when deciding which financial institution to use. In terms of mortgage payments, money transfers and the like, however, things will proceed as before with no changes to rates envisaged or likely so from this viewpoint C&G customers can heave a sigh of relief."

Commenting on the wider financial scene Lynn went on to say, "Major events like this on the High Street do have one beneficial effect and it's this: It causes everyone to pause and think about their own personal financial situation. It's a sad fact that the majority subsequently decide to merely move on without deciding on any action. For the minority though there are some very real opportunities waiting to be explored. With a little thought and some guidance it remains not only possible but highly likely that superior savings rates can be achieved, mortgage payments reduced and pension plans flexed to yield tremendous advantages. The recommendation must be for anyone contemplating a review of their finances to grasp the nettle and initiate some action now because the rewards are there to be had and in troubled economic times they simply have to be exploited to make best use of the available cash in peoples pockets."

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