Bank to shut in town after declining usage

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

An Amble bank will close later this year, due to a continued decline in customers.

However, the town’s Mayor Jane Dargue has called the closure ‘short-sighted’.

Barclays has announced that its branch on Queen Street will close on Friday, November 3.

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

A Barclays spokeswoman said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.

“At Barclays Amble, customer usage has continued to decline and 49 per cent of our customers now regularly use alternative branches, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.

“We hope that the availability of our other Barclays branch at Alnwick, and access to services at the local Post Office, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”

However, Coun Dargue has criticised the decision. She said: “I understand that this is part of the bigger picture, but I think this is a narrow-minded and short-sighted approach because Amble is a thriving and growing town. It is sad to see that the branch will close.”

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.

A drop in through-the-door customers was cited for the closures in Alnwick and Wooler, as more people use online services.