In recent days I have been informed by Barclays Bank that they intend to close their Lancaster branch on 25 April 2024.
This has understandably caused a lot of concern for Barclays customers in Lancaster who rely on this branch to access vital face-to-face banking services. While Barclays argue that the nature of banking has changed and the vast majority of transactions take place through internet or telephone banking, this does not suit all activities nor all people.
Many elderly and disabled customers struggle to access online services and rely on the assistance that staff in the current branch are able to provide – staff whose jobs are now at risk. Many small businesses also conduct significant amounts of banking business in person, and other customers have also written to me to say that they value the personal and confidential advice they are able to receive from branch staff, which they will not be able to access at the Post Office, for example, where only basic transactions can be performed.
In speaking with my colleague Lizzi Collinge, County Councillor for Lancaster East, we have both heard from concerned Barclays customers and I have put our concerns to the Head of Corporate Relations at Barclays Bank to explain in detail why we feel this closure is wrong, to urge them in the strongest terms to retain the branch and its services, and to push for clarity on the ‘alternative’ they will provide if they insist on going ahead with this closure.
See the letter in full below: