Barclays customers urged to air their banking concerns and needs ahead of Alnwick branch closure
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It is closing its Alnwick and Seahouses branches in July because more customers are using online banking and plans to set up a ‘pop-up cashless banking site’ for customers who want face-to-face support.
“I conveyed the deep concern expressed to me by residents, businesses and town councillors’ regarding the closure and the manner of its communication to customers and sought assurance on several important points,” he explained.
“Firstly, that all cash and cheque transactions currently done in-branch will be possible over a Post Office counter. This is the case, except there will be a maximum cap on the total value of cash transactions which will mostly affect business customers. Barclays offer some free options to businesses of weekly cash collections, which may be worth investigating.
“There will definitely be a ‘physical touch point’ opened in the town which will be staffed for at least the same number of hours as the branch currently operates. This is to deal face-to-face with all other banking services and the location will be announced once a contract is signed.
"The current opening times / days may change according to the location chosen but if you are a Barclays customer and would like to request for example a Saturday morning opening, then do let them know and it may be possible.
“All existing customers who have accessed the branch in the last year should have been personally contacted and offered support ahead of the closure.”
He added: “This split-level service is clearly going to cause inconvenience to customers and the change may be unsettling. Not everyone is able or comfortable with moving into the digital banking world and banks need to continue to support their customers.
"I have assurance that customer feedback to Barclays will shape how the new service operates, so do let them know your concerns and requirements.”
Fellow county councillors Gordon Castle and Guy Renner-Thompson have also expressed dismay at the decision.
Alnwick Mayor Geoff Watson added: “Alnwick is the county town of Northumberland, its population and tourist facilities are growing so I believe Barclays decision to close their Alnwick branch is ill-considered.”