'The picturesque market town of Hebden Bridge is just one of the many communities across Britain fearful of being pushed towards a cashless society.
Situated eight miles west of Halifax, this West Yorkshire town is an artistic hub with more than 20 independent coffee houses and cafes – as well as dozens of boutique shops serving more than a million tourists every year.
But despite being such a vibrant place, the last bank in town, Lloyds, unceremoniously slammed shut its doors for the final time earlier this year – at the same time ripping out the cash machine.
Lloyds' closure follows those of the Barclays and NatWest branches. All three buildings are boarded up. The closures are mirrored across Calderdale, resulting in a 15-mile stretch from Todmorden to Brighouse bereft of banks. Lloyds customer Gus Crossley was relaxing opposite the shut bank at Hebden Bridge Sports & Social Club when The Mail on Sunday visited the town.
The 68-year-old said: 'The drive towards a cashless society is a trick devised by the banks to get more power over how we spend. No one is fooled by Lloyds' phoney adverts claiming the bank is 'by your side'. It just wants to squeeze every last penny out of us. Closing a bank is 100 per cent about saving money – to hell with loyal customers.'
He added: 'Now we are left with just two banks in town – grass ones by the canal and river.'
Despite banks claiming contactless payment is the future, Gus is one of more than two million Britons who uses cash for day-to-day needs and refuses to be bullied into banking on the internet. Finding somewhere to get hold of cash in Hebden Bridge is now a challenge.
Lloyds' hole in the wall is covered by an 18 millimetre thick sheet of plywood that was replaced last month after someone drew a picture of a cat with the words: 'Put your money in the kitty – you will never see it again.''
Read more: 'The only banks left in Hebden Bridge are grass ones down by the river': The communities in fear of being pushed towards a cashless society
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