Two Liverpool banks break tradition on Monday
Two Liverpool banks will be open for business on Bank Holiday Monday – bringing an end to a tradition that dates back 144 years.
NatWest in Liverpool One and Barclays in Lord Street will trade on Monday Bank Holiday on May 4th, in a trial taking place across the UK.
Barclays branches in Huyton, Maghull and Birchwood will also open their doors.
Royal Bank of Scotland, of which NatWest is a part, and Barclays will between them open dozens of branches across the country with a view to extending it to other outlets.
In 1871 the UK parliament decided that legislation on Bank Holidays was necessary and Sir John Lubbock MP introduced the Bank Holidays Act in the same year.
Good Friday and Christmas Day were already common law holidays, based on the Christian tradition of these festivals being days of rest, so Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August and St Stephen’s Day were also added
According to historians, it has been said that the parliamentary sponsors of the legislation preferred the term ‘bank holiday’ rather than ‘public holiday’ to give the holidays more authority and austerity.
A further advantage was that targeting the banks guaranteed more widespread honouring of the declared holidays; if the banks closed their doors most other businesses would naturally follow suit.
In recent years in the UK more and more retailers in the UK have opened their doors on Bank Holidays so it was only a matter of time until the banks followed suit.
Jane Howard, managing director of branch and private Banking for RBS and NatWest, said:
“Customer behaviour is changing and as we work hard to become number one for customer service, trust and advocacy in the UK, we are continually looking at ways to adapt and improve service for our customers.
“Many of our customers have busy lives but are off work on a Bank Holiday. At a time where many people are thinking about buying a house, we’re breaking with tradition and opening our busiest branches where our customers need us. Whether that’s for a mortgage or just to reflect on their finances, we’re here to help.”