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Barclays defends closure plans

Created on 17/06/2022 @ 11:05
Barclays has defended its decision to close its Newtown and Welshpool branches.

The banking giant revealed yesterday that it would be closing its branches at The Cross, Newtown and Broad Street in Welshpool in September.

MyNewtown readers have expressed concern via social media, worried they won't be able to easily access banking facilities as well as the knock0on effect of losing another business in the town centre.

Barclays said most customers were using online banking and the number of people visiting. It said there had been a 49% reduction in visits over the past two years.

It said only 30 customers used the Newtown branch exclusively and in no other way.

It said it would find "alternative" ways to reach its customers in the community.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one. However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking. As a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK.

“This is reflected at the Welshpool and Newtown branch where there has been a 52% and 49% per cent reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020. In addition, 88% of our Welshpool customers and 87% of Newtown customers are also using different ways to bank.

“We will work with our customers and provide alternative options to ensure they can continue to manage their money and receive financial expertise when required. This includes working with the local community to find different, more flexible ways for our colleagues to continue to provide local banking support, such as through pop-up presences.”

Montgomeryshire's Member of the Senedd, Russell George, slammed the plans.

Montgomeryshire MS, Russell George said: "I am extremely disappointed to hear of the closure of Barclays banks within Montgomeryshire and I will be querying the data provided in their reasoning for closing the banks as I know that many people use both banks.

"Whilst banks have pointed out the use of online banking there remains a strong need for the presence of high street banks.

"Another bank branch closure will not only have a detrimental impact on the bank's loyal staff and customers, especially those who are elderly and vulnerable, but it will also have implications for the local business community, for Welshpool and Newtown as towns and the wider area, and for the reputation of Barclays."

The Newtown branch will close on 23 September and Welshpool on 16 September.

The company said there would be no redundancies as a result of the closures.