Peel Fisheries posted a request via their Facebook page, asking customers to pay by card whenever possible in light of the closure of the branch on January 7.
The owner, David Matthews, explained the reasons behind the post: ’It’s something we’ve been working on for a while - we have all the card machines installed in all the shops. With the bank closing, it’s hard to bank cash and we don’t want a load of cash sat on the premises as we have to go to Douglas. The bank in Peel is only open on a Monday and Tuesday, but then before the weekend we have to go as well.
’We can’t hold a big amount of change due to safety and security reasons. So, we would prefer people to pay by card, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not taking cash.’
The Isle of Man Bank, run from RBSI in Jersey, made the announcement in September that both Peel and Castletown branches would close. There was a petition launched online by Suzette Marshall, which so far has gained 2,477 signatures, with a goal of getting to 2.500.
Owner of Top 2 Toe in Peel, Clive Chapman said it doesn’t make sense to close a bank in a town which has more housing being built.
’I don’t bank with the Isle of Man Bank, but for everybody else who changed their accounts from Lloyds when that closed to Isle of Man Bank, they’ve got to either go to Douglas or Ramsey, which is ridiculous,’ he said.
’A thousand houses have already been built in Peel, which is near enough double the volume of the people in the town - there’s another 700 houses to be built and we’ve got no bank.’
Protests were held in Castletown and Peel in September, attracting around 100 people in Castletown. A petition was given to the branch inside which had over 450 signatures.
Antony Morgan owns Muffins the bakery, which doesn’t have a card machine.
He said he was disappointed when the Peel branch closure announcement was made.
’Because we deal with cash from all our customers, we will have to go into Douglas once a week, but with all the closures, there’s usually queues,’ he said.
’When you get there, there’s only two people on the till saying "We’re really busy" and they wonder why. It’s because all the branches have closed.
’It’s probably just a way of getting people to use card. It’s not a good customer experience.’