Hundreds call for the CEO of Barclays to meet them over branch closure

Hundreds of people in Tamworth are calling on the boss of Barclays bank to come and meet them so they can explain why their local branch should stay open.

The Barclays at Middle Entry in the centre of the town is due to shut permanently in November.

More than 500 people have signed a petition asking Barclays to think again and others have made a social media film explaining the impact it will have on them.

People in Tamworth sign the petition to save their bank Credit: ITV Central

Tim Lee, who is blind said: "I've been banking with this branch for 44 years. I go in on a weekly basis because I can't use cash machines.

"When I spoke to Barclays they said I could use the Post Office to withdraw and deposit cash but I don't think Barclays should have use of my savings to make money when they're giving me zero service in return."

Muriel Brown who's in her 80s says she wouldn't be able to go to one of the bank's other branches in Lichfield or Sutton Coldfield as she can't get her mobility scooter on the bus.

Muriel Brown says she relies on this bank and wants it to stay Credit: ITV Central

"I'm really annoyed that they think everybody has access to the internet. You pick the phone up and it's www this and www that, I could scream blue murder to be honest."

Carol Roberts pointed out that not everybody uses mobile or internet banking and said she didn't herself until the pandemic.

"I felt forced to use it due to Covid but I don't trust it, I like human contact."

Susan Amies said the thought of losing her local branch makes her anxious.

"I've been a customer of this branch since the 70s. They know me in there and address me by name when I go in. I suffer from anxiety and it makes me really anxious to think that my bank, my one port of call when I have any problems, is going to go."

People arriving at the bank as it opened on Tuesday 4 October Credit: ITV Central

In a statement a spokesperson for Barclays said: "making a decision to close a branch is never an easy decision.

"However customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking and, as a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK."

Figures from Barclays in Tamworth

  • A 71 per cent reduction in counter transactions in the last 12 months, when compared to March 2020.

  • 92 % of customers who visit the bank are using different ways to bank.

  • Only 2 customers use the branch exclusively for their banking.

"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."

Barclays said it will also be offering 'tea and tech' sessions for customers wishing to expolore digital banking.

Mr Lee and the other campaigners say they'd welcome a cup of tea but would prefer to share it with the CEO of Barclays so they can explain why having the branch on their high street is so important to them.

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