Bank closure in town branded short-sighted

Amble's Barclays branch.
Amble's Barclays branch.

Councillors have criticised Barclays’ decision to close its branch in Amble, describing it as short-sighted and disappointing.

Last month, the company announced that it would be shutting its Queen Street premises on Friday, November 3, due to a continued decline in customers.

The company says that there will be no job losses and any impacted staff will be redeployed to other local Barclays branches.

The news of the upcoming closure has angered councillors, who voiced their frustration at last Thursday’s Amble Town Council meeting.

Coun Helen Lewis said: “It is very upsetting to hear about it and it is extremely disappointing.”

Coun Jeff Watson added: “It will have been a corporate decision by somebody who doesn’t know where Amble is.”

Clerk Elaine Brown said that the town council has written to Barclays to express its disappointment and she has also asked the bank to provide data about the number of people using the branch.

She said: “I would like them to show statistics of usage, because it is often busy. I think it is short-sighted, given the numerous planning applications for houses that are in for Amble.”

The company says that it will be ‘proactively engaging’ with local businesses and the community to discuss alternative ways that customers will be able to do their banking locally’.

Customers who are concerned about how to do their banking once the branch closes should contact the company.

Barclays will look to hold sessions – individually or in a group – for any customer wishing to explore digital banking.

Amble isn’t the only location in Northumberland which has faced or is facing bank/building society closures on the high street.

Both the HSBC and Yorkshire Building Society have closed in recent months in Alnwick. The Bank of Scotland, in Wooler, is due to close in October.