Barclays has been slammed over a decision to shut a Northumberland branch in its latest round of closures.
The bank’s Berwick branch is set to close on February 14 next year, with a total of 16 UK branches earmarked for closure between February and March. The firm said reasons for the closure include customers changing the way they bank, opting for their app, online and telephone banking methods instead.
But Northumberland County Council Councillors Catherine Seymour and Georgina Hill have expressed their disappointment at the decision.
Coun Seymour, who represents Berwick North, said: “It is not so good news about the soon to close Barclays Bank on Hide Hill and I have written to tell of the disappointment, concerns and how it will affect their loyal customers and staff in hearing of this news.
“They are to close at least 180 of its branches in 2023-24 due to customers making fewer visits in person and Berwick is on the list for the chopping block in this latest round of cuts. With the huge profits that Banks make throughout the country surely they can adapt their customer service to continue to serve communities and to keep our branch open. “
Georgina Hill, who represents Berwick East said: “It is disappointing news – although not surprising given the bank branch closures happening across the country. I would encourage Barclays customers, especially those who cannot or prefer not to use online banking, to ‘vote with their feet’ and move their accounts elsewhere.”
Angry ChronicleLive readers took to social media to express their disappointment in the decision, with one writing: “I refuse to believe more people use the phone and app than going into physical branches.”
Another added: “This is an absolute disgrace to their customers.”
Barclays will have closed at least 180 branches in 2023 and 2024 – more than one third of its entire UK network.
A Barclays spokesperson said: “Back when we opened this branch, visiting us in person was one of the only ways to do your banking. Now, as there are lots of ways to manage your money without even leaving your home, we’re seeing many customers choosing to bank using our app, and Online or Telephone Banking. This has had a big impact on the number of customers coming in to see us.”
In information published on the bank’s website, it says 90% of people who use the branch have also banked using the app, online and by phone in 2022. A total of 19 customers use the bank regularly as the only way to do their banking, while three per cent of the branch’s customers have used nearby branches in the last 12 months.
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