MP Bill Esterson speaks to Maghull Halifax staff to find out what community banks must be like to help local economy
Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson visited the Halifax branch in Maghull to listen to staff and managers in both the personal and business banking sections.
Bill was told that Halifax has increased its lending to businesses and that they have also seen more money being loaned for mortgages in recent months.
Bill also heard that the staff have very good relationships with customers and have known people a long time. As a result there is more trust and customers are more likely to ask for help early which means the bank can often help when people face financial difficulties.
"It was clear to me that staff at the branch in Maghull do what they can to support the people of the area. I was also pleased to hear that lending has gone up in recent months and that the bank is often able to make local decisions based on sound decisions which include knowing their customers.
"This is in stark contrast to the ‘computer says no’ approach which is all too common in banks these days.
"It was also very encouraging to meet the staff in banks who have never lost sight of the importance of treating customers as individuals. We often hear about bankers and it is of course true that the commercial banks lent money around the world, took huge risks and caused the financial crisis."
Bill said the banks which he has been visiting in Sefton Central are important parts of the community.
Bill said: "The people in senior positions in commercial banks were paid obscene amounts of money in bonuses and bank staff were tarred with the same brush completely unfairly. So I am pleased that I can visit banks in my constituency, like the Halifax in Maghull and meet hard working bank staff, who live in the same communities as their customers and who still have the trust of their customers inspite of all that went wrong in the financial services industry in the run up to the financial crisis.
"From what I saw in Maghull, I have no reason to doubt the staff I met are doing their bit to help the people of this community to weather the financial storm and move on to better times.”