Louth and Horncastle’s Member of Parliament, Victoria Atkins, recently met Barclay’s managers in Parliament to discuss the closure of their Mablethorpe branch.
Barclays notified Victoria that the branch would close on July 2nd and leave residents in and around Mablethorpe without a high-street bank nearby. When the closure comes into effect, the nearest branch of Barclays for residents in the town and surrounding rural villages will be over 15 miles away in Louth.
Expressing concern about the move, Victoria said, “I am extremely disappointed to hear that Barclays have taken this decision. Residents in Mablethorpe, particularly the elderly, are some of the most vulnerable to isolation and this will remove a vital element of their daily and social routines.”
“Around 7,000 people will be affected by this decision. Many of these residents do not have access to transport, and may not wish or be able to adapt to the changes required by internet banking.”
During the meeting, Victoria pressed Barclays for answers on the provisions which would be made for customers and staff following their withdrawal from Mablethorpe. The MP was keen to discuss the possibility of a mobile banking service and a cashpoint.
While Barclays were receptive to exploring the possibility of installing a cashpoint before the branch closes, they were clear that they have no plans to establish a mobile banking van, as did their competitors Lloyds when that branch closed a year ago.
Commenting on their stance, Victoria said, “Barclays’ offer to customers in Mablethorpe will leave a lot to be desired. I suggested a mobile banking van, which they stated might pose a security risk. When I queried this point, they were unable to explain the nature of the risk or the assessment carried out to identify it.
“Barclays have said that they have liaised with residents about the closure, and while I am encouraged by that, I do not think that it is good enough for them to say that the Post Office should shoulder the burden of their decision. Customers there are already subject to extreme delays and I was not reassured during the consultation that Barclays have fully assessed how their service will be able to cope with the influx of new customers after July 2nd.”
“As a bare minimum, Barclays must seriously consider providing a cashpoint, and I expressed this view in no uncertain terms to the managers. I will remain in contact with them to track the progress of it.”
The only positive outcome of the meeting was that staff would move to the Skegness branch and there will therefore be no redundancies.
In conclusion, Victoria stated, “I will continue to fight for our coastal communities and the provision of local services.”