Gants Hill Lloyds branch closes after more than 80 years

Lloyds Bank Gants Hill

The branch on Gants Hill roundabout was first opened in 1939. - Credit: Google

A branch of Lloyds Bank has closed after more than 80 years. 

The closure of the Eastern Avenue bank, which was first opened in 1939, was announced in June along with 43 other branches of Lloyds and Halifax. 

Lloyds said the decision was based on changing banking habits among its customers. 

Vincent Goodman, a local businessman and amateur historian, said the closure was a “massive loss”. 

He said: “You have to remember that in recent years we lost the Odeon, and we lost The Valentine pub, so the whole backbone, the whole spine of Gants Hill has slowly been ripped out.

“It’s going to be like a ghost town, I think.” 

Vincent, whose printing business is located next to the branch on Gants Hill roundabout, said he had spoken to bank staff who he said were “gutted” to see it close. 

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According to Vincent, who runs a historical interest Facebook page called the Gants Hill Facebook group, the building was constructed specifically for the Lloyds Bank, which opened on March 22, 1939.

The interior of the Lloyds Bank after it was built.

The interior of the Lloyds Bank after it was built. - Credit: Lloyds

He explained: “When Lloyds opened on that corner, there wasn’t anything else. My shop, that corner, where my shop is and that whole parade hadn’t even been built.” 

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He said when he was growing up in the area in the 1980s, the bank employed as many as 40 staff and handled an account for the confectionary giant Trebor, which had a factory in Woodford Avenue. 

A Lloyds Bank spokesperson said it made the decision to close the branch "due to the changing ways customers choose to bank with us, which means the branch is being used less often”. 

The bank claimed 86 per cent of its personal customers in Gants Hill already use other branches and other ways to bank, such as online or telephone banking. 

The building was constructed for the Lloyds branch, which was opened in March 1939

The building was constructed for the Lloyds branch, which was opened in March 1939 - Credit: Lloyds

“Customers can continue to bank locally by visiting the nearby Post Office, which is less than half a mile from the branch. The nearest alternative branch is Ilford," they said. 

Customers will have their accounts reassigned to the Ilford branch. 

The nearest Post Offices to the closed branch are in Cranbrook Road, Eastern Avenue and Longwood Parade.

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