The East Riding of Yorkshire Council has put its weight behind the campaign to have HSBC replace the damaged ATM machine in the village of North Cave. At yesterdays meeting the full Council supported my motion that it write to the HSBC Bank in the strongest terms, raising the points I mention, and asking them to reconsider their short-sighted decision in not replacing the damaged ATM machine in North Cave. Thank you to all my fellow members for their support.
(pictured with North Cave Parish Councillors Howard Strong and Steve Skipsea as they hand me the petition prior to the Council meeting)
The following is a transcript of my speech:
On Saturday 12th June at approx 3.30am there was an attack against the North Cave HSBC ATM cash machine, which was forcibly removed, badly damaged and left in the road after the raiders were allegedly disturbed. Since the incident the ATM machine has not been replaced and the building has been boarded up, approaches to HSBC have resulted in confirmation that the machine will not be replaced.
Historically there has been a bank in North Cave with the HSBC’s previous incarnate the Midland Bank providing banking services to local residents – no doubt playing on the fact that it was a local bank to attract customers. Then about four years ago the bank was closed, and I am told the HSBC wrote to all local customers saying that although the branch would be closed they would ensure that service would continue to be available through an HSBC ATM…. This promise has now been broken.
The ATM cash machine was installed providing banking 24 hours per day 7 days per week, providing an essential service for residents not only from North Cave but also to residents of Hotham, Everthorpe, Broomfleet, Newport and Gilberdyke. I have also spoken to people who work at the Wolds Prison who used the cash machine on the way to and from work.
North Cave consists of 705 houses, the Parish Council has organised a petition in the village and so far over 400 people have signed, demonstrating the strength of feeling within the community.
North Cave Post Office offers a cash withdrawal facility – although ironically this service is not available to HSBC customers, and is only open during office hours. The North Cave shop provides a ‘Cash Back’ facility, which unfortunately is not free and the shop closes at 8pm. So we have the situation were the loyal, long-standing and local customers of what was the Midland Bank, before becoming the HSBC, cannot gain access to their accounts – although they can withdraw their own money at the shop during the day provided they are willing to pay for the privilege.
In a response from HSBC’s London based Deployment Manager Caroline J. Abrahams cites concerns for potential injury and damage to the any building housing an ATM machine as the reasons for not replacing it stating,
“Having considered our position very carefully in this instance we feel that reinstating the machine could put both our customers and the building residents at further risk of a repeat attack and we will not therefore be replacing the ATM”.
Well I’m not sure how many HSBC customers are queuing at the cash machine at 3.30am to ‘suffer potential injury’ and as the first floor rooms of the building are not occupied - the comment about the risk to building residents is difficult to understand.
I have a letter to David Davis MP from Mr Steven K Green, who’s not just your ordinary Banker, this man is a serious Banker, in fact the Group Chairman of HSBC.
In this letter he gives a few carefully selected figures and statistics, as one would expect from a Banker. These include:
“Industry statistics show that 25% of all physical ATM attacks result in the forcible removal of the ATM machine” - nothing surprising there.
He also States, “Experience has shown us that once an ATM has been attacked in this way it is more likely to be attacked again” but surprisingly he fails to give any figures or statistics to back up his case.
Well I’ve got some figures for this Banker – let’s talk about the bailout of the banks - It is estimated that the bailout cost each person in Britain approximately £13,800 - if one multiplies that by the 1,392 adults living in North Cave that means that the community contributed £19,209,600 to the bailout. I wonder how this compares to the cost of replacing the ATM machine in the village – A bank source says this is approx £40,000 which is less than ¼ of 1% of the money contributed by residents to the bailout.
The Banker also states and I quote, “there is a free of charge external ATM currently operated by Halifax, which is located on Welton Road, 0.75 miles from the centre of North Cave”
Clearly he’s been give some duff information here, because as residents know there is no Welton Road in North Cave nor within 0.75 miles of the village, not even in neighbouring South Cave – BUT there is a Welton Road 6.6 miles away in Brough. So we have a man who deals with figures on a day-to-day basis but can’t tell us the number of miles to the nearest cash point.
He continues, “also taken into account where the cash services which are already available from the village itself, from the Post Office and the local shop”
I’m at a loss as to why the Group Chairman of the HSBC fails to grasp that HSBC and the Post Office do not have an agreement where the HSBC card can be accepted at a Post Office for free cash withdrawals. I also wonder if he realises that the local shop charges people to withdraw their own money from their own account?
He also states, “customer demand for ATM services is migrating from where they live, to where they work, undertake considered purchases and their social and leisure activities”
This is only credible if you are NOT a pensioner living in North Cave who has held a bank account for many years, firstly with the Midland Bank and then the HSBC, and now can’t get access to their money without a bus ride.
Again it is not credible if you want to draw money to spend locally at the pub, the travelling fish and chip van, or at a function put on by the Playing Fields Committee or at the Village Hall.
This is not credible if you work at the Wolds Prison and want to access your cash on the way to or from work, and it is certainly not credible if you have exited the M62 on the way to the coast and you want some spending money.
“As far as I’m concerned this is clearly not acceptable for local residents. I have still not received a satisfactory reply to the question I raised with HSBC regarding risk assessments and whether these have been undertaken for all ATM machines operated by them, and how many have been removed because of the risk to customers and buildings.
“This smacks of an excuse to remove a cash machine from a village and yet another example of rural communities facing cuts to services. Banks should remember that it was taxpayers money that was used to bail them out of a self inflicted crisis, those taxpayers of North Cave, Hotham, Broomfleet, Newport and Gilberdyke deserve better from the HSBC.
I urge the Council to write to the HSBC Bank in the strongest terms, raising the points I have mentioned, and asking them to reconsider their short-sighted decision in not replacing the damaged ATM machine in North Cave.