THE lack of accountability of large corporations like banks feels like it has been felt in North Yorkshire this week.

It was just five months ago that local MP Rishi Sunak was assured by HSBC there were no plans to close its Leyburn branch, following the closure of its bank in Hawes and the puzzling transfer of customers’ bank accounts to Settle, not Leyburn.

Now it transpires that HSBC in Leyburn is to close after all in a move Mr Sunak has said has “let down” residents.

Stokesley and Easingwold will also lose their branches.

Yorkshire Bank has been busy closing branches too.

Of all the places you would expect to find a branch of the Yorkshire Bank, it would be in one of the main towns serving the Yorkshire Dales.

But now it seems to be a case of Yorkshire by name, but not necessarily Yorkshire by nature.

The bank announced last week it was closing its branch in the centre of Richmond and moving customers’ accounts to the next nearest branch; over the border and into Darlington, County Durham.

For some people, travelling from their village to bank in Richmond was already a fair trip, given the never-ending closure of bank branches in rural communities that last few years has seen.

We know bank branches are seeing falling customer numbers as people turn to online, telephone or mobile banking services.

But some things still have to be done in person whether by necessity or preference, as the county’s older members may want to deal with someone in person.

Both banks have offered customers the chance to bank at post offices – but they have no idea how long those last few Post Office branches will remain in their communities.

But as Richmond Town Council pointed out in its letter to the manager of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire branch “This is the Yorkshire Bank, supposedly so called as for the benefit of Yorkshire people, understanding the rural area they live in.”

On one of the bank’s websites, it proudly proclaims “We Care About Here” above a picture of the Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales, with a text that states: “We’re proud of where we come from and how we help the people who live and work there. We’re close to our customers because we care about here.”

It might be time for a new slogan.