Welcome to...Lowerstoft?!

THERE were red faces all round when a bank unveiled its new look last week in Lowestoft town centre.

The HSBC bank in London Road North has undergone a major transformation and as well as a bright new d�cor, it now includes the latest features that will improve its customer service.

However, the sign installed above the main entrance caused a stir among customers and passing shoppers – because its message said: “Welcome to Lowerstoft”.

Paul Sheldrake, public relations manager at HSBC, which likes to be known as the “world’s local bank”, offered his apologies to the people of Lowestoft.

“We have to hold up our hands and say we made a mistake. We are sorry and hope the people of Lowestoft realise this was simply a genuine mistake.

“Lowestoft is a very important town to us and that is why so many improvements have been carried out in the branch,” he said.

“As soon as the mistake was realised we made arrangements to have it corrected so that the town’s name was correctly spelt.”

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The sign was unveiled last Thursday with Lowestoft mis-spelt but by Saturday this had been covered up with white tape.

Among those who spotted the blunder was Phill Wakefield, who pointed out that it was actually closer to some locals’ pronunciation of their home town.

“We as locals with a ‘Suffolk’ accent might actual pronounce it ‘Lowerstoft’ but you would think the people running HSBC would ensure that they actually spelt the town name correctly!” he said.

On Tuesday this week, however, a new sign with a “Welcome to Lowestoft” message was installed.

The new-look bank sees the latest technology used to give customers access to a range of new services.

“There has been a big change at the bank as we have reduced the a mount of space used for offices and considerably increased the space for our customers to use.

“We have also been able to have more staff working in the public areas so it is easier for customers to find someone if they need help,” said Mr Sheldrake.

The bank had received many favourable comments about its new look, he added, and it hoped the saga of the “Lowerstoft” sign would quickly be forgotten.

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